Since its inception in 1994, Shodor has been offering workshops, apprenticeships, and internships to students in and around the Durham area. Through new partnerships with local and regional organizations as well as continued support from the community, Shodor is now able to focus on and expand the Computing MATTERS program. Computing MATTERS is a coherent continuum of other-than-schooltime activities offered to students, upper elementary through college, in order to initiate encounters the excitement of discovery, the power of inquiry, and the joy of learning enabled by cyberinfrastructure technologies.
Computing MATTERS leverages Shodor's tested and proven model that combines training of teachers and near-peer exploration leaders, effective STEM education experiences for students at all levels, advancement of students from diverse backgrounds to positions of leadership, and continuous mentoring. Computing MATTERS is also designed to help others become adept in computational science explorations, adapt Shodor's materials and approach for their own circumstances, and therefore move to adopt Computing MATTERS as the organizing principle for their own extensive youth-based programs. The general goal of Computing MATTERS is to partner with local communities, providing professional development and ongoing support in order to implement student programs.
Shodor is now working to scale its work by implementing Computing MATTERS far beyond Shodor, serving as a model for dissemination of successful programs. By expanding Computing MATTERS, Shodor is able to facilitate students all over North Carolina, and eventually the nation, in sharing the same growth from excitement to experience to expertise through research opportunities and service as students in Shodor's hometown.
The first step in growing the reach and impact of Computing MATTERS has been for Shodor to create a new, separate, website for the program. This website will serve as a portal of propagation, allowing other programs to search for updates about Shodor, get involved with both the student programs and faculty development aspects of Computing MATTERS, or just gather more information on what Computing MATTERS is.
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