MUzECS: Embedded Blocks for Exploring Computer Science
Format of Original
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
2015 IEEE Blocks and Beyond Workshop
We build on the success of the Exploring Computer Science (ECS) curriculum, which has improved the accessibility of a Computer Science education to students of all backgrounds. While ECS has been well-received by its students and successful in reaching many students of diverse backgrounds, it currently suffers from a final module which is expensive and offers no easy transition to text-based programming. This module, which teaches robotics as an application of computing, rests on the LEGO Mindstorms1 platform. The Mindstorms have a block-based programming language that abstracts too much code to be of any use for making a transition from block-based programming to text-based programming. They are also more expensive than most schools can afford. This paper reports on one aspect of our successful effort to create an alternative curriculum which meets the same curriculum objectives as the current sixth module, but for a reduced price.