Campus Reform | US gov grants almost $2 million to research 'Equity and Antiracist learning' in high school computer science

US gov grants almost $2 million to research 'Equity and Antiracist learning' in high school computer science

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is awarding $1.9 million toward “Researching Equity and Antiracist Learning” in high school computer science education.

The University of California, Los Angeles will receive $1,026,000, and the University of Oregon will be awarded $873,999.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is awarding two universities over a million dollars for “Researching Equity and Antiracist Learning” in high school computer science education.

The University of California, Los Angeles is set to receive a $1,026,000 grant, and the University of Oregon is set to receive $873,999. The project aims to use “a lens of intersectionality” to “reach into addressing systemic barriers in high school computer science (CS) education.”

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Funding will be used to accomplish three main goals: 1) “increasing CS educator and school administrator knowledge, capacity, and use of racially and culturally inclusive practices”; 2) modifying CS curriculum to include “antiracist design tenets”; and 3) researching the “equity-oriented” beliefs and practices of teachers and administrators.

The NSF award abstract states that this program will reach “20,000 high school students who will have the opportunity to take an equity-focused CS course from highly prepared teachers” and will “have nationwide impacts” on curriculums, professional agendas, and evaluation metrics.

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NSF media affairs supervisor Martha V. Klinck told Campus Reform the project is “among many [of] NSF’s efforts to address barriers to broadening participation in computing of underrepresented and underserved populations.” 

According to Klinck, the REAL-CS grant project is one of nine currently funded Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) Alliances, which are “collaborations of academic institutions, educators, professional societies, community organizations, and industrial partners...for achieving the transformation of computing education and addressing the longstanding underrepresentation of many groups in the computing discipline.”

She also said the project was “evaluated according to NSF’s Merit Review process, which is considered the worldwide ‘gold standard’ for evaluating research proposals.”

The grant project is set to start on October 1, 2022, and end around September 30, 2024.

Campus Reform reached out to the University of Oregon, the University of California Los Angeles, and grant principal investigators Joanna Goode and Jean Ryoo for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter @katesrichardson.