Using funding from Governor Wolf’s PAsmart Advancing Grant, Erie City School District and Mercyhurst University offered one and two-week long Coding Camps in the new Mercyhurst MCPc Computer Center in August 2019.
Younger students used code.org to create gaming projects and older students used Unity 3D Game Programming. Seventy-five students in grades 5-12 attended the programs, and the student in each class who created the highest-quality gaming project was awarded a Chromebook.
The PAsmart Advancing Grant in Erie targets students who are historically under-represented in computer science programs and careers. The goal was to make computer science more attractive to these students in order to increase their interest and skills in computer science. Their research has shown that the best way to do this is through thoughtful recruiting, and by utilizing gaming as the gateway. The students felt really special to be able to attend this program on a beautiful university campus and families were delighted with the opportunity. Round two is slated to occur in June 2020.