The University of Maryland iSchool’s IMProving Assessment of Computational Thinking in Libraries (IMPACT Libraries) research team is looking for public library staff to help us evaluate a series of assessment tools developed to measure the success of Computational Thinking (CT) programs for youth ages 11-18.  Participating libraries will use assessment tools that we have developed to assess their youth CT programs. By CT programs, we mean activities that engage youth with concepts and practices related to computer science and solving problems with technology. This can include coding clubs, robotics (e.g. Sphero) or Making (e.g. 3-D printing) activities, game design or media creation workshops, or unplugged activities that have youth build algorithms, identify or create patterns, or systematically solve a problem. Programs can be in person, virtual, or hybrid. Programs can be recurring or offered one-time only.

Between September 2021 and February 2022, selected library staff will be asked to: participate in online interviews (via Zoom) before and after conducting their CT programming, run their planned CT program, use the assessment tools to evaluate their program, and share the outcomes of applying the assessments with the research team. 

The time commitment for the entire project will not exceed four hours. Each participating library will be provided $1000 to cover costs associated with using the assessment tools and meeting with the research team. This incentive will be paid in two equal payments. The first payment will be made after the completion of the pre-program interview. The second payment will be made after the final interview with the research team. 

If you are interested in participating and will be offering a CT program for youth ages 11-18 between September 2021 and February 2022, please complete this application survey. We plan to work with 15 libraries across the United States that serve diverse communities. We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis until all the 15 libraries are selected.

If you have any questions, please send an email to impact@umd.edu

Check out a few samples of the project’s assessment tools here: https://impact.ischool.umd.edu/sample-assessment-tools/