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Google cash boost for computer scientists


University experts working to raise the standard of computer science education in Welsh high schools have received a cash boost from Google to support the project.

The award of $25,000 (£15,000) to Glyndŵr University’s computer science team has been made as part of the internet giant’s Computer Science for High School (CS4HS) initiative.

CS4HS aims to prepare schools for radical changes to teaching of computing in schools, and the introduction of a new GCSE Computer Science.

The money will pay for a synchronised summer school programme in July 2014 which will run at Glyndŵr University, Bangor University, Cardiff Metropolitan University and Swansea Metropolitan University (University of Wales Trinity St David).

The computing department at Glyndŵr will lead and coordinate the project. Its CS4HS proposal was supported by the UK Computing At School (CAS) organisation as well as CAS in Wales.

It will be the only Google/CAS initiative in the UK this year and was successful against fierce opposition from other UK universities.

Glyndŵr University is already working extensively with schools in North East Wales to bring computer science education to a higher level.

Vic Grout, head of computing at Glyndŵr University, said: “This is fantastic news for Glyndŵr University and for the teaching of computer science all round.

“The new computer science curriculum will enable us to teach students more advanced skills than ever before when they arrive at university, benefiting both the university, them personally and industry when they graduate.

“The award is further evidence of the Glyndŵr University computer science team’s growing stature in the national and international arena.”

The programme will be delivered simultaneously at each location over a residential weekend.

Up to 60 teachers will be given an introduction to fundamental computer science, including how computers work and the basics of a programming language called Python.

All teachers who complete the course in Wrexham will be given the opportunity to gain a Postgraduate Certificate in Computing for Teachers from Glyndŵr University. Similar qualifications will be offered at
other universities.

Glyndŵr University is continuing to run a successful programme to educate young people about computer science through its Turing at Glyndŵr initiative. For more information visit www.turingatglyndwr.org

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