Marquette University: Leading new $2 million computer science effort in public schools

MILWAUKEE — Dr. Dennis Brylow, professor of computer science in Marquette University’s Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, has received nearly $2 million in a National Science Foundation collaborative research grant to promote computer science education among teachers in public schools.

Brylow and his team will explore deeper questions about how prior computer science exposure can affect students later in their education, why execution of initiatives are so unevenly effective in different parts of the city and how to strengthen computer science education in a dynamic urban school system.

“This new effort aims to strengthen the existing computer science coursework we’ve helped launch in Milwaukee Public Schools over the past five years into clear K-12 curriculum pathways, while also scaling out to many more of the schools that still have no access to this important subject area,” said Brylow.

Brylow has already made significant inroads in expanding Wisconsin’s computer science professional development opportunities for teachers. He and Dr. Marta Magiera, associate professor of mathematical and statistical sciences, utilized previous million-dollar NSF grants to train over 1,850 K-5 teachers, impacting more than 67,000 school children in a five-year span.

“Dr. Brylow has done a tremendous job expanding access to computer science education, and this grant will only further those efforts,” said Dr. Iqbal Ahamed, chair and professor of computer science at Marquette. “Marquette, as a university, is dedicated to contributing to the advancement of knowledge. This grant continues to carry that mission outside the university in service to the community. CS education is vital for students that want to take a path towards a STEM career, a choice that should available regardless of class.”

This grant starts Oct. 1 and is funded for four years with a total value of $1,163,557 for Marquette. The total value reaches nearly $2 million with the remaining amount divided among partners for the purposes of measuring the success of the methods.

The NSF is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…” The NSF is vital because it supports basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future.

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