UNI awarded $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa–The University of Northern Iowa Department of Computer Science was recently awarded a two-year $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). A proposal for the grant was submitted last year by three associate professors of computer science—Sarah Diesburg, Philip East and Ben Schafer. This grant is the biggest NSF award the department has received.

The three colleagues were looking at ways they could improve the curriculum efforts for computer science teachers. The grant will fund UNI’s K through 12 computer science education curriculum project and will help computer science educators with professional development.

Professor Ben Schafer notes that "Though our plans may be revised after initiating the partnership, we currently envision offering five courses that will provide teachers a solid base for teaching simple programming or either of the current AP courses and for growing their knowledge and understanding of computer science." 

The courses will be open to all teachers and start this summer, moving into the 2018-19 school year.

“Specifically, these practices involve ways the teacher can interact with students to provide support, types of problems and assignments the teacher offers, and ways the teacher can provide assessment,” added Diesburg on the teaching practices of the courses.

For more information about the grant and the curriculum project, contact Ben Schafer, associate professor of computer science, at 319-273-2187 or schafer@cs.uni.edu.


Ben Schafer, associate professor, computer science, 319-273-2187, schafer@cs.uni.edu

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-2761, lindsay.cunningham@uni.edu