STEM conference

Andrea Russo

Regional Program Manager @ Microsoft TEALS, RI Office of Innovation

Presentation Title: Inspiring the Next Generation of Programmers through Game Design

Abstract: Science and technology are critical drivers of today’s global innovation economy. More and more companies across all industry sectors are seeking people with computer science (CS) and computer engineering skills. Unfortunately, we are not educating enough individuals to fill the open jobs. By increasing access to CS for all youth as early as possible, we will help them prepare for the jobs of today and tomorrow and give them the opportunity to become creators of technology and the world’s future innovators. The use of game design in the CS classroom unleashes a plethora of engagement opportunities for a wide array of students. By nature, games are engaging while still being rigorous. Video game design teaches students not only the essentials of CS and programming, but also essential skills. Students need to use the design process to plan, test, and refine while developing the 4 C’s of 21st century learners: communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking. In this session, we will explore how to use game design in the CS classroom with practical application of curriculum.

Biography: Andrea Russo is an experienced educator for the past 15 years in both the formal and informal settings. She comes to TEALS (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools) from the National Council of Technological Literacy. Before that she taught grades 6-12 in NYC. During that time, she received grants from the NYAS to implement best practices in STEAM. She participated in the Scientist in Residence Program. She has worked on curriculum development projects through the American Museum of Natural History and the NY Hall of Science in Queens, NY. She participated in teacher educator training in Huntsville, Alabama in the Honeywell-sponsored NASA educator camp. Prior to her teaching career, Andrea worked at the New York Botanical Garden in the continuing education department. Andrea holds a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction in STEM and an M.S. in Science Education.