As I mentioned yesterday, I have very few students in my intro CS class, which doesn’t bode well for next year’s CS II class. I had yet another student come to me yesterday to see how she might take intro as an independent study. In talking to her, she reiterated what my CS II students mentioned, how useful and actually cool CS is. She wondered why more students weren’t aware of that. Me, too.
I need to make that a major goal this year to recruit more students to Intro, not just for the sustainability of my job, but because I really do think CS is important and cool. I already attend our open houses and other events where we advertise our programs to parents and students. I need to do more. But what? I am doing a CS Ed week event for the school. I am running two robotics clubs plus another tech oriented club. I’d love to do something like a mailer to parents but that seems a little out of the realm of “things we do” as a school. I probably need to take more advantage of our marketing department.
As more than one student has told me, CS has a bad rep. People think it’s too hard, that you have to be an obsessive mountain dew swilling weirdo to really succeed at it. And I’ve tried to overcome that image, but it’s been truly difficult. My students are poster children for how interesting, creative and diverse CS can be, but that message isn’t getting across. I have my work cut out for me.