The nonprofit organization, I Am Zambia, works to give supplemental education to young women in Lusaka. I Am Zambia is creating sustainable change by educating these females, who can then lift their families and communities out of poverty. The ultimate goal of this thesis was to explore and implement high level systematic problem solving through basic and specialized computational thinking curriculum at I Am Zambia in order to give these women an even larger stepping stool into a successful future.
To do this, a 4-week long pilot curriculum was created, implemented, and tested through an optional class at I Am Zambia, available to women who had already graduated from the year-long I Am Zambia Academy program. A total of 18 women ages 18-24 chose to enroll in the course. There were a total of 10 lessons, taught over 20 class period. These lessons covered four main computational thinking frameworks: introduction to computational thinking, algorithmic thinking, pseudocode, and debugging. Knowledge retention was tested through the use of a CS educational tool, QuizIt, created by the CSI Lab of School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering at Arizona State University. Furthermore, pre and post tests were given to assess the successfulness of the curriculum in teaching students the aforementioned concepts. 14 of the 18 students successfully completed the pre and post test.
Limitations of this study and suggestions for how to improve this curriculum in order to extend it into a year long course are also presented at the conclusion of this paper.