Founded in 2010, UC Davis Center for Integrated Computing and STEM Education (C-STEM) develops educational technologies and curriculum, and provides professional development for teachers to teach K-12 math with hands-on coding, robotics, and making. C-STEM is now a UC Approved Educational Preparation Program for undergraduate admission for all University of California campuses. C-STEM also has UCOP A-G Program Status with high school courses for preparing students for admission to University of California and California State University. The rigorous C-STEM Math-ICT Curriculum provides K-12 students with up to 13 years of integrated learning of math and computer science. The center focuses on algebra, a gatekeeper for careers in STEM. Hands-on activities with coding and robots inspire and engage students who are otherwise turned off by math and STEM subjects. The C-STEM Math-ICT curriculum is in use in more than 60 school districts, mostly in California, and has shown success in closing the “math achievement gap” for underperforming students.
Software, tools, and textbooks of the C-STEM program are available for download from the center’s website. C-STEM Center and its partners organize the RoboPlay Challenge Competition every May at UC Davis and in Orange County. RoboPlay is a theme-based level playing field robotics competition for K-14 students. It is designed for students to showcase their real-world problem solving skills in a competitive environment. The center also runs an annual conference on computing and STEM education, and a highly successful summer program called Girls in Robotics Leadership (GIRL) camp for middle school girls in different regions. Since 2010, the center has received over $5 million in grants from the National Science Foundation, as well as support from the California Department of Education and corporate sponsors.