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UW-Green Bay is the first in Wisconsin to host a ‘Google IgniteCS’ program

Funds will be used to teach computing to underrepresented youth

UW-Green Bay (UWGB) Assistant Prof. Ankur Chattopadhyay, Information and Computing Sciences (ICS), and his team of highly motivated students, in partnership with Phuture Phoenix, received the IgniteCS award by Google. Through this award, this team is partnering with Google to start a community outreach program mentoring underrepresented youth of Northeast Wisconsin in computing sciences.

The IgniteCS UWGB student mentors will design and develop outreach curriculum in computing sciences specifically for K-12 teachers, to teach their students the art of computing and computational thinking.

“This is a novel and innovative venture, where students will be driving an outreach and innovative program to strengthen the Phuture Phoenix program,” said Chattopadhyay. “It is a unique professional development platform for students wishing to gain experience in computing educational research, teamwork building, outreach curriculum design and development and wishing to serve as community mentors and role models. This is the first of its kind partnership of UWGB with Google and Google is offering career development opportunities as well other supporting resources to the participating students.”

This initiative aligns well with the mission of Phuture Phoenix, which is helping students from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds to believe post-secondary education is important, attainable and available, and providing resources to students to accomplish this.

UW-Green Bay is the first University in Wisconsin to host the Google IgniteCS program, the “maiden Google IgniteCS center in Wisconsin,” said Chattopadhyay. “This is a unique and creative student-driven outreach program, where UWGB students will be involved directly in leading the efforts to connect with the local community, teach CS to the K-12 students and, in a way, help recruit for UWGB. The program’s mission will add more value to the inclusiveness and diversity objectives of the campus.”

The curriculum is currently being developed, and outreach will begin in March 2017. Mary Sue Lavin and Robert Fish, Phuture Phoenix Director and Associate Director respectively, will assist the IgniteCS team in reaching out to underrepresented K-12 students in Phuture Phoenix partner schools.

Story by Marketing and University Communication intern Amy Bauer