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CS (Computer Science) First: for middle school libraries, and your CS program

This looks like just the type of program a middle school librarian could love.

CS, or Computer Science First is a free Google program designed to increase student exposure to computer science education through after-school, in-school, and summer programs in a club approach run by teachers and/or community volunteers.

CS First works towards its goal of developing student courage, confidence and curiosity about computer science by providing a wealth of free training materials targeted at students grades 4 through 12.  The resources may be tailored for nearly any schedule.  Students learn how to build creative projects using Scratch, learn about the critical role computer science and coding play in today’s world, and explore technology-based career options.

There’s something here every kid could love as well.

Videos, lessons and support materials span a wide range of student and teacher/librarian interests:

  • Music & Sound: students use the computer to play musical notes, create a music video, and build an interactive music display while learning how programming is used to create music.
  • Fashion & Design: students learn how computer science and technology are used in the fashion industry while building fashion-themed programs, like a fashion walk, a stylist tool, and a pattern maker.
  • Storytelling: students use computer science to tell fun and interactive stories. Storytelling emphasizes creativity by encouraging club members to tell a unique story each day.
  • Art: students create animations, interactive artwork, photograph filters, and other exciting, artistic project
  • Friends: students create projects for a friend! Students are encouraged to sign up with a friend or make a new friend in the club. Projects include telling the story of how the friendship started, making a cooperative game, and imagining a company together.
  • Game Design: students learn basic video game coding concepts by making different types of games, including racing, platform, launching, and more!
  • Social Media: students create fun social media style applications and games while learning about the computer science concepts that enable these programs to work.

The program might be incorporated into an afterschool or lunchtime club, an informal school block, or a computer science class.

Though you can run a club with or without a CS First Guru volunteer, it might be a wonderful opportunity to connect with community volunteers who are asked to introduce the club and work one-on-one with students as they watch videos and build projects. Volunteers answer student questions–with the help of Google-provided solution sheets–give encouragement, and keep the club on schedule.

Check out the FAQs and these these other useful resources:




Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

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