Journalism has undergone a profound shift in the digital age and now provides the potential to engage students who might not see themselves as “computing types.” Our goal is to develop middle school student interest in 21st century writing, media, math and computing skills to motivate and prepare them for careers in computing-rich fields.
There is an acute shortage of skilled professionals in the computing disciplines. A misperception is that computing sciences are not creative disciplines as compared to the arts and creative writing. Research shows that adolescents base their career path decisions on direct influences of their families, teachers and personal experience. By directly engaging students who do not necessarily view themselves as “computing types,” we anticipated changing their prospective career options in the expanding computing disciplines. By engaging their teachers, we hoped to gradually see an introduction of computational thinking skills infuse their established curriculum.