CS Pathways is an NSF-supported project to bring culturally responsive and socially relevant computer science curriculum to urban middle school teachers and their students.

The work began with an NSF ITEST Strategies award (2014–18) that created a partnership between UMass Lowell and the school districts of Medford and Everett (MA). During the award period, the project worked with 12 teachers across the two school districts. The teachers developed and implemented a 20-hour, project-based computer science curriculum that reached an estimated 2,520 middle school students over the grant lifetime. The teachers also led a series of 30-hour, week-long intensive summer camps that reached more than 200 students over the project’s four years.

This project served as the foundation for CS Pathways RPP, an NSF-funded researcher-practitioner partnership among UMass Lowell and SUNY Albany and the school districts of Lowell and Methuen (MA) and Schenectady (NY).  CS Pathways RPP was funded in 2019.

The team is working across and within the three public school districts to develop computing curricula that are integrated into technology, science, and civics middle school instruction. The goal of the project is to establish in the three districts the competencies for teaching culturally responsive computer science, with an action-oriented focus where students build mobile apps.

Among school district central office staff, principals, teachers, and parents, the project aims to build a self-supporting consensus throughout the districts for the importance of computer science instruction, including the skills and commitment to renew CS curricula beyond the grant funding period.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Numbers 1923452 and 1923461.  Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.