Formed with staff from a number of successful computational training programmes at UT Austin, EPIC puts a new emphasis on training Computer Science (CS) teachers in Texas schools.
"At TACC, we see every day how critically important a computationally literate workforce is to the science and engineering research enterprise, and to the broader economy", stated TACC Executive Director Dan Stanzione. "With the addition of EPIC to our existing, student-focused programmes, we have a more holistic approach to bringing computing to the Texas workforce."
EPIC's mission is to broaden participation in kindergarten through graduate-level computing through research, outreach, professional development, and policy advocacy. EPIC is particularly committed to expanding access and opportunity for traditionally underrepresented students in computing.
"We're excited to be part of TACC", stated Carol Fletcher, EPIC's director. "We're now embedded with people that have the disciplinary expertise in areas such as supercomputing, artificial intelligence, and data visualization that will support the work that we do in computing education. TACC embraces the mission of broadening participation in computing which makes the two organizations very complimentary."
The EPIC group at TACC is committed to increasing the number of certified CS teachers in Texas through a range of online and in-person teacher professional development programmes; increasing the number of high schools across Texas that offer CS; and diversifying student enrollment to ensure traditionally underrepresented students such as women and students of colour are equally represented in CS courses and experiences.
Since 2015, the WeTeach_CS project, a component of EPIC, has helped more than 500 Texas teachers complete their certification in high school computer science. EPIC is replicating this success in other states as well.
In its goal to create a strong community of teachers, administrators, university faculty, and industry partners, the EPIC group offers the following research and service projects:
"With the launch of EPIC, TACC will expand its already impressive leadership in equity-focused CS outreach", Carol Fletcher stated. "Our team is pleased to help TACC become a national model for effective integration of high performance computing and broadening participation efforts in all educational levels."
To learn more about EPIC, you can visit the EPIC website.