INTERESTED IN LEADING A CLUB?
Are you a UW-Madison student who would like to teach kids in Madison about Computer Science?
If so, you may be interested in a service-learning course taught by the CS department: CS 402 — Introducing Computer Science to K-12 Students.
In this 2-credit course, you’ll work in a small team with other UW students to lead a weekly CS club for 4th-5th graders at a nearby Elementary school, Community Center, or the Madison Children’s Museum.
“I have thought to myself so many times that I wish I would’ve started learning about coding and computer science way sooner than my freshman year of college. CS 402 is an amazing course that brings computer science to so many young kids and I know it is reaching kids just like me that could have a future in computer science, but they get to discover that and grow their knowledge of computer science much earlier which is truly amazing.”
The clubs focus on teaching kids basic CS concepts and how to create projects (e.g., animated stories and games) in Scratch. For those of you who haven’t heard of Scratch, it is a highly visual programming environment specifically designed for novice programmers. Scratch will be easy for you to learn quickly — it has the control structures, variables, and lists you’re all familiar with. We’ve been using it as the programming language in CS 202: Introduction to Computation. If you’re curious, you should check it out at http://scratch.mit.edu — it is free to download and has lots of examples.
Signing up for this course is a commitment; to run great clubs, we need to precisely match UW students with different sites and we need to ensure we have the right number of UW students (usually 3) at each club. If you drop the course shortly before the semester starts (or even worse, after the semester begins), you may disrupt the success of one of the clubs. You should NOT sign up for this course as a placeholder in your schedule if you think you might not stay enrolled.
You will then be responsible for co-leading (with 2 other UW students) the weekly club at a local site (e.g., Shorewood, Lowell, Thoreau, Van Hise, Crestwood, Muir, Stephens, Leopold, Marquette, Goodman Community, or the Children’s Museum). You’ll need to have free time in your schedule on one afternoon each week (e.g., 3:00 – 4:30). The day of the week you are available will determine which site you volunteer at.
We think you’ll find this to be a rewarding and unique experience at UW. Our clubs have been incredibly successful for the past few years and many kids, parents, and teachers are interested in learning more. We are currently teaching approximately 200 kids about CS each semester!
When you enroll in CS 402, you will pick a particular (lab) section that corresponds to a particular club day and time. For example, each section has two meetings scheduled: a common lecture and an off-site meeting that corresponds to your club day and time.
Make sure you choose the appropriate section for the day and time when you can co-lead a weekly CS club (section times start 30 minutes before club times since you need to travel to the clubs — usually either by bus or a taxi service provided through the Morgridge Center). Club times and locations are determined each semester.
To sign up for this course, you should be fairly comfortable speaking loudly and clearly in front of a group of about 16 kids.
To successfully lead so many CS clubs around Madison, it is very important that we have the right number of CS 402 students signed up for each section. If your schedule changes and you are no longer able to lead a club, please DROP this course promptly so another UW student can lead that club.