Summary and History
STARS (Students, Technology, Academics, Research, and Service) Computing Corps is a national alliance of colleges and universities with a mission to develop college students and faculty as leaders who broaden participation of women, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities in computing. STARS student members take an active role in broadening participation in computing and develop their technical skills by leading service learning projects, including near-peer outreach that introduces K-12 students to computing as well as within-department peer tutoring, mentoring, and research collaborations. Since 2006, over 2600 STARS students and 80 faculty across 53 academic institutions have reached more than 140,000 K-12 students in STARS outreach programs. STARS Computing Corps @ Temple University was founded in the fall of 2018, and we started by hosting a few technical workshops and partnering with the Philadelphia Military Academy in the spring of that year. Since then, we’ve grown to teaching two AP Computer Science classes, hosting several workshops per semester, giving technical presentations to Philadelphia schools, and more. Follow our website and social media to see how we continue to grow and work to broaden participation in computing!
What We Do
STARS Computing Corps @ Temple University has three pillars of computer science engagement for secondary students: workshops, demonstrations, and teaching. Each semester, our volunteers design a handful of free workshops surrounding current topics in computing and technology. This might include web application development, micro-computer (Arduino, Micro::bit, RaspberryPi) programming, and more. We use our computer labs in the Temple University Science Education and Research Center to provide students with all of the equipment and other resources needed to succeed in the workshops. Topics are driven by feedback from students, and our members’ interests. These workshops are meant to provide a creative outlet and learning experience for students, with the hopes of encouraging them to work in or study computer science, or a related field. Throughout the school year, STARS Computing Corps @ Temple University visits schools in the Philadelphia School District to give presentations on topics in computer science. Typically, we present to an individual class at a time, rather than an entire school; this lets us tailor our presentation, and gives students more opportunity to ask questions. In the past, our volunteers have presented on machine learning, 3D printing, and robotics. We try to align presentation topics with upcoming workshops so that students have the opportunity to follow up and get hands on experience. We partner with schools and academic organizations to provide computer science teaching to high school students in Philadelphia. On Temple University’s campus, we work with the Steppingstone Scholars program to teach their after-school Java programming course, where our volunteers design and teach a curriculum that draws from AP Computer Science A as well as Oracle’s Java SE 8 Programmer I exam. Our volunteers provide feedback on the students’ programming projects, outside of class time. We also partner with the nearby Philadelphia Military Academy to assist in teaching their AP Computer Science Principles class on a daily basis. At PMA, we help lecture and lead students through in-class activities.