Find the Path to Computer Science

Mockup One

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Mockup Two

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Organizing Principles

The main target of "Find the right path to Computer Science" mobile app is all high school students in Hawaii. A lack of understanding about Computer Science is one of the reasons many students don't choose to pursue computer science. The main organizing principle of the app is to encourage students to develop computer science skills and interests by connecting them with opportunities in the local CS field.

Pedagogical goals

  1. To introduce computer science in innovative and effective ways.
  2. To expand access to Computer Science in high schools
  3. To increase student interest and participation in Computer Science.
  4. To inform CS related opportunities (i.e. careers, college course, scholarships, events, workshops) in Hawaii
  5. To help high school students to obtain hands-on experiences in Computer Science
  6. To provide a platform to show projects and share ideas.

Walkthrough of the mockup

“Exploring the Ocean” is the main theme of the app. The main color scheme is blue. I used bright colors and ocean creature clipart to attract teenagers. Two sets of menus are displayed on the top (CS Subjects, Opportunities, Events) and bottom (Home, Projects, My Page, Alerts, Friends) of the app.

Mockup One "Find the Right Path to Computer Science":

1. Intro Page

This is the page when users open the app for the first time. It has a short description about the purpose of this app and sign-up/log-in buttons for the next step. If necessary, we could add a couple of more landing pages using different backgrounds and explain how to use the app step by step.

2. CS Subjects

This page displays 6 best high interest CS subjects for high school students suggested by Exploring Computer Science. (We could add or edit the topics, as necessary.) I used different colors and sea creature icons for each category. The total number of favorites on each category will help users to know the current trends in Computer Science.

3. CS Subject > Human Computer Interaction

This is a page when a user clicks “Human Computer Interaction” on the CS Subject page. It contains a video about the subject, description, related careers, and college courses.

4. CS Projects

This is a page where a user can post their CS related projects such as robots, websites, apps, games. Users can also view other’s work and leave comments on a project you are viewing. This feature will help high school students to learn active listing and improve their projects. Posting CS college student projects will give an opportunity to learn college courses. This project page could be used as a portfolio page which shows their work to public.

5. Notifications

Notification page is important because it helps users to visit the app regularly. It will inform users new updates, features, comments, invites from friends.

Mockup Two "Save Hawaii with Computer Science":

Hawaii needs more technology professionals.

Hawaii cannot afford to bring technology professionals from the mainland or other countries. We should educate our youth in science, technology, and math and give opportunities to use their skills in Hawaii. Coding is not just for Computer Science Students. Finance, health care, manufacturing, arts, most industries require coding skills. Coding has become a core skill in many fields. It does not mean that you don’t need to learn coding because you are interested in learning sustainability, tourism, or ocean biology . If you learn coding, you can have more opportunities in the future. CSExplore will motivate high school students why they need to learn Computer Science and how they can use their skills to help Hawaii.

Local Computer Science Clubs

I tried to find “High School Computer Science Clubs in Hawaii” on Google but could not find many results. I believe that many high school students in Hawaii want to have Computer Science clubs at their school. Joining a Computer Science club is a great way to network and learn coding. However, it is not easy to start a computer science club without the support of a large organization. Hack Club is a network of high school student-led coding clubs. Hack Club provides training, curriculum, and events. Seems like it does not make sense to offer another computer science club for high school students in Hawaii because Hack Club is already doing very well. However, local computer science clubs have many benefits to our community and to an individual student which Hack Club can't offer. We can differentiate CSExplore's Computer Science club from Hack Club by offering local networks and setting up fundraising. Also, we can provide supports directly.

Research evaluation

Here are some of the research questions we'll want to answer:

  1. How many high school students use the app? And how often do they visit the app?
  2. Is the app distinguishable from other similar sites?
  3. Is the app interactive? Does it allow users to communicate and interactive with it? How many users post projects and communicate with other members using the app?
  4. How many students who use the app go to UH ICS?
  5. Which subjects and projects are found to be most interesting by the users?

What's next

The next step is creating a list of content needed based on the design and collecting information. We also need to sort data from RadGrad to fit into high school students.