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Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Kathleen Lodl
  • (402) 472-9012
  • Janet Golden
  • Saundra W Frerichs
Award Date:08/30/2019
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 297,313
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 297,313
  • FY 2019=$297,313
Start Date:10/01/2019
End Date:09/30/2020
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.070
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:EAGER: Building an Ecosystem for Broadening Participation for Computing: 4-H and the Land-Grant University System
Federal Award ID Number:1940300
DUNS ID:555456995
Parent DUNS ID:068662618
Program:STEM + Computing (STEM+C) Part
Program Officer:
  • Allyson Kennedy
  • (703) 292-8905

Awardee Location

Street:151 Prem S. Paul Research Center
Awardee Cong. District:01

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Cong. District:01

Abstract at Time of Award

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), in collaboration with the National 4-H Council, proposes a project to advance effective practices for broadening participation in computing (BPC) in out-of-school-time programs by engaging computer science (CS) faculty and departments at land-grant universities (LGUs) in 4-H programs using entrepreneurial models and tools. The project is aligned with the National Science Foundation's Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate's (CISE) effort to engage its Principal Investigators (PIs) and their academic departments in meaningful BPC activities. It will advance knowledge on developing a sustainable ecosystem for dissemination and promotion of computational literacy among rural youth, youth from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, girls, minorities (particularly African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and American Indians), and youth with disabilities. The ecosystem comprises national youth organizations (e.g., 4-H), corporations (e.g., Google, Microsoft), CS departments at LGUs, and K-12 schools. This project will involve CISE-funded PIs and the 4-H units at four LGUs to achieve three objectives: 1. Implement and assess a collaborative strategic planning and resource development process for BPC that engages LGU CS departments and 4-H programs in four partner states. 4-H programs will collaborate with their local CS departments to collaboratively develop and implement a plan for BPC that builds on their specific strengths. Lessons learned will be adapted and shared as models for action for other CS departments. 2. Expand an existing Computer Science Professional Development Toolkit by developing additional resources for supporting equity and inclusion in CS and developing computational thinking. 3. Expand access to the developed strategic models and tools for LGU CS departments and 4-H programs across the country. Existing communication with 4-H digital channels that reach Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professionals, including and others, will be used to reach a wider audience. Research questions will include: What are the challenges and opportunities for CS departments and state 4-H programs as they create a collaborative plan of action for BPC in their state? What resources are needed to support CS departments and state 4-H programs as they create and execute this plan? and What is the impact of a blended learning model of professional development on the confidence and competence of 4-H professionals, educators, university students and volunteers who facilitate CS experiences? This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Project Outcomes Report


This Project Outcomes Report for the General Public is displayed verbatim as submitted by the Principal Investigator (PI) for this award. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this Report are those of the PI and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation; NSF has not approved or endorsed its content.

 The Building an Ecosystem for Broadening Participation for Computing project focused on developing partnerships between state 4-H offices and computer science department faculty to help broaden participation in computing by reaching populations of youth that wouldn?t be reached by the computer science faculty outreach efforts or wouldn?t have the kinds of opportunities given to them through 4-H without the expertise of the computer science faculty.  The project also developed professional development resources for youth development professionals and for computer science professionals.  The training resources are accessible to anyone at

 Three types of collaboration emerged from this research.  They were 4-H led/driven partnerships, university computer science department-driven partnerships and co-owned partnerships.  An explanation of each type is given below.

  4-H Led/Driven Partnerships had the computer science department in more of an advisory position while 4-H provided the majority of the groundwork and day-to-day operations. The amount of advising ranged from very little, as in the Pennsylvania partnership, to a significant amount, as with Utah. In these cases, computer science department project leads tended to hold leadership positions within their departments and were involved in multiple outreach projects. The physical distance between the 4-H staff and their computer science partners in these cases presented some challenges. 4-H?s strong leadership and ability to use their unique strengths brought significant value to the university department.

  University CS Department-Driven Partnerships developed when computer science faculty brought an established programming, curriculum, or outreach project to the partnership and 4-H leaders demonstrated willingness to supplement the programming they were already doing. The second year of the Virginia partnership was an example of this type of partnership.  As the project grew in its second year, a new CS department joining the project brought an on-going computer science outreach project (Game Changineer) to the team.  The partnership was successful in expanding the audience for this program and provided training for educators and volunteers throughout the state.    

  Co-Owned Partnerships emerged as a hybrid model in which 4-H staff and their computer science faculty shared responsibility for the project?s day-to-day operations. Examples of this type of partnership were seen in Alabama and in Virginia during the first year of the project. In these cases, computer science department faculty members on the team tended to not be in leadership positions within their departments and were interested in doing outreach within the community, but were not actively participating in outreach already. In both instances, it was noted that the 4-H staff and their computer science partners held offices at the same universities, which allowed for easy in-person collaboration.

In 2020, a total of 426 adults were engaged in computer science and trained to lead learning experiences for youth in these four states.  The adults trained were trained using the modules on, Game Changineers, online and unplugged CS activities.  The total number of youth who were exposed to computer science through this project was 989.  This includes youth participants and teens who were trained to lead CS activities with younger youth.  The training resources developed during this project were shown to significantly increase participants? confidence in teaching computer science to youth.

Last Modified: 11/25/2020
Modified by: Saundra W Frerichs

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