The Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign takes great pride in our role in educating computer scientists who change our world by doing things that were thought impossible.

Computer Science underpins just about every aspect of modern life: the arts, science, business, medicine, and engineering. These skills are highly sought-after in industry and academia and result in many lucrative, impactful, and fulfilling career opportunities

We have assembled this list of local and national resources and activities to help encourage youth and family engagement in computing:

Department of Computer Science

CS @ ILLINOIS has developed a series of outreach programs targeted especially for our local community to raise awareness and interest in computer science, including ChicTech Visits, ChicTech Retreat, Gems Computer Science Camp for Girls, CS @ ILLINOIS Sail, the Central Illinois Affiliate of the NCWIT Aspirations Program, and the CS @ ILLINOIS Hour of Code. Include links to each program paragraph.

College of Engineering

Engineering Open House

This annual event (held this year on March 10-11, 2016) is a great way to bring students and families to campus to learn first-hand about exciting opportunities.

GAMES (Girls’ Adventures in Mathematics, Engineering, and Science)

These camps, led by the Women in Engineering student organization, regularly features tracks in computer science and robotics, bioengineering, chemical engineering, environmental engineering and sustainability, aerospace engineering, Girls Learning Electrical Engineering (GLEE), Girls Learning about Materials (GLAM), and Girls Building Awesome Machines (G-BAM).

University of Illinois Extension 4-H Academies

Computer Science Academy: Learn to program with this introduction to programming with Scratch! In this academy, we'll use the Scratch programming environment, which is aimed at beginners, but powerful enough to keep even seasoned programmers engaged and entertained. After learning basic techniques you'll design projects of your own choosing - computer games, animated stories, interactive programs - limited only by your own imagination. The software used is free and runs in any web browser, so you'll be able to continue your projects, and create new ones, after the academy is over.

National Organizations | grades K–12 is a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. Their vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science. They believe computer science should be part of core curriculum, alonside other courses such as biology, chemistry or algebra. Please visit their site to access their free curriculum, workshops, tools, and engage in their programs.

The National Center for Women & Information Technology

NCWIT is a non-profit community of more than 600 universities, companies, non-profits, and government organizations nationwide to increase women’s participation in computing and technology. NCWIT provides resources for recruiting, retaining, and advancing women from K-12 and higher education through industry and entrepreneurial careers.

Computer Science Curriculum Resources

Codecademy | grades 9–12

Classes for learning JavaScript, Java, Python, Ruby, and HTML/CSS.

Hopscotch | grades 3–12

IOS application used to design games and share them.

Khan Academy | grades 6–12

computer-programming JavaScript and HTML/CSS video tutorials and challenges. Range from drawing basic shapes to making interactive webpages. Gives students the tools to make games, animations and webpages.

Lightbot | grades 4–12

Students lead a robot through a series of puzzles while learning programming principles.

Scratch | grades K–12

Students build their own games and animations with colored code blocks. Step by step tutorials. Students can create teams and work on projects together. Lots of examples of other people’s projects.

Tynker | grades K–8

Variety of activities based on the student’s interests and age.

Club Support

Google CS First | grades K–12

Plans for a variety of CS clubs each with a different focus. Includes activity plans.

Girls Who Code

Nonprofit organization working to close the gender gap in the technology and engineering sectors.

Additional Resources

Makey Makey | all ages, hardware

Fab Lab | all ages, local community resource

Articles on Computer Science Curriculum

“Coding in the Classroom: A Long-Overdue Inclusion” —

“15+ Ways of Teaching Every Student to Code (Even Without a Computer)” —

“Add Coding to Your Elementary Curriculum . . . Right Now” —

“Create a Family Coding Day for Hour of Code” —

If you have questions or want to learn more about these resources, please email