Current Projects

AI for K-12 Initiative

Christina Gardner-McCune is Co-Chair of the AI for K-12 Initiative Steering Committee.

In May 2018, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) formed a joint working group to develop national guidelines for teaching K-12 students about artificial intelligence [1]. Inspired by CSTA’s national standards for K-12 computing education [2], the AI for K-12 guidelines will define what students in each grade band should know about artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotics. The working group is also creating an online resource directory where teachers can find AI-related videos, demo software, and activity descriptions they can incorporate into their lesson plans.


Supporting K-12 AI Learning: Tools, Resources, & Curriculum

Project Lead: Christina Gardner-McCune 
Project Team: Amal Hashky, Teresa Ferguson, Disha Nayar, Krutantak Patil
NOW Available: Opportunities for software developers and undergraduate research assistants

This is a new project we are focused on three main goals, development of 

  • AI & ML demos – AI For Kids
  • An AI summer camp for high school students (Now in Development Summer 2021)
  • Studying how students develop AI competencies and skills



CASMM: Computational Thinking and Science, Making, & Modeling

PI: Dr. Sharon Chu
Co-PI: Dr. Christina Gardner-McCune
Project Lead: David Magda, Abhishek Kulkarni (ELX lab)
Project Team: Yerika Jimenez,Megha Nagarmunoli
Development Lead:  
Now Hiring Developers
Live CASMM Programming Environment 

This project investigates an approach to teach formal science that allows students to simultaneously learn technology skills and knowledge (Making and computational skills and thinking). The approach involves students engaging in Science Modeling through Physical Computing (SMPC) to build science models to learn both science and computing in grade 5-6 classes. This project supports student learning through the design and development of  a web-based programming environment and learning management system that features easy to use block-based programming for Arduino and tools for developing and organzing programming activities for the classroom.


CS Professional Identity Development

Project Lead: Amanpreet Kapoor

This project aims to understand how CS undergraduate students are forming their professional identity and the role played by CS degree programs and various avenues for informal learning in supporting CS students’ professional development. The project assesses the professional development of CS students by gauging students’ technical competency and confidence gained through their degree experiences, professional experiences, various CS communities of practices, independent skill development, and social supports.  




VR Empathy Development in young children

Project Lead: Ekaterina Muravevskaia

This project explores the use of VR to promote empathy development in young children (age 5-8).  This project aims to empirically study the affordances of VR and Fairytales to promote cognitive empathy development through the development and use of the Virtual Reality (VR) educational game “Why Did Baba Yaga Take My Brother?” 



Dual-Modality Instruction

Project Lead: Jeremiah Blanchard

We are studying how learning of programming languages connects with construct representation in text and blocks. This project focuses on Pencil Code, a web-based dual-modality programming environment, and Amphibian, a plugin for IntelliJ IDEA, both of which are built on the Droplet editor. We are working on this project with Dr. Lisa Anthony and the INIT Laboratory.


Compile-And-Run Prompts in Digital Programming Assessments

Project Lead: Jeremiah Blanchard

This project aims to understand how students perceive different types of programming assessment questions. The focus is on comparing pseudocode essay exams with compile-and-run environment exams and exploring students’ feelings and performance on the different types of programming assessments.


Cybersecurity Across the Curriculum

Project Lead: Cheryl Resch

This project aims to understand …..



AI4GA: Artificial Intelligence for Georgia

Project Lead: Christina Gardner-McCune 
Project Team: 
Project Team:

This is a new project we are focused on three main goals, development of 

  • AI & ML demos – AI For Kids
  • An AI summer camp for high school students (Now in Development Summer 2021)

Black Boy Joy

Project Lead: Joseph Isaac

This project investigates effective pedagogies to increase the interest and persistence of black middle school boys in computer science (CS) in the United States. It will identify significant factors for low interest and low persistence of black boys in computer science through existing literature, examine effective strategies for black boys participating in computer science, and conduct experiments to measure the effectiveness of strategies and pedagogies for increasing the participation of black boys in computer science.



Past Projects


Project Lead: Joseph Isaac

This project explores new ways to teach computer programming concepts (sequences, loops, parallelization, booleans, etc.) to middle and high school students using their own knowledge and interests in music production and solving puzzles. 


Understanding students’ Mental Effort Block-based Programming environments using Electroencephalography (EEG)

Project Lead: Yerika Jimenez

The goal of this project is to leverage advances in Electroencephalography (EEG) research to explore how students learn CS concepts, write programs, and complete programming tasks in block-based programming.




Kodu: Teaching Elementary School Students to Reason about Code

UF Project Lead: Christina Gardner-McCune

Past UF Project Lead: Ashish Aggarwal

This project designed curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment to teach 3-5th grade students how to reason about programs using the Laws of Kodu Computation. We found that explicitly teaching students
how Kodu rules are interpreted significantly improved their ability to understand the execution of programs and to explain program behavior. The results of this research provide insight into how elementary school students reason about simple programs, and how this ability can be scaffolded. 

Calypso for Cozmo

UF Project Lead: Christina Gardner-McCune

This project teaches students in grades 3-8 about robotic artificial intelligence and reasoning about programs through programming the Anki Cozmo robot with Calypso rule-based programming environment. Through this project, we are developing curriculum, implementing curriculum in classrooms, and conducting teacher professional development. 



GenCyber: CyberBytes Summer Camp & Professional Development (2015)

Project Lead: Christina Gardner-McCune
CyberBYTES:  Cybersecurity & Programming – Teacher Professional Development

This two week professional development opportunity is aimed at teachers working in districts where there are few opportunities for minority and underrepresented students to be engage in computing summer camps or after-school programs. Teachers selected to participate in this professional development will 

  • receive 1 week (20 hours) of professional development focused on introducing teachers to CyberFirst Principles, free Programming tools, and curriculum for a 20 hour summer camp/after-school program.
  • co-teach a 1 week summer camp with the expert CS teachers allowing them to put into practice what they’ve just learned. 
CyberBYTES:  Cybersecurity & Programming – K-12 Summer Camp

This 1-week all day summer camp will help students see the impact of Cyber Threats, Vulnerabilities, & Security on their Everyday Lives and will Empower them to be a Part of the Cyber Defense Solution.

This camp has been designed using a learner-centered approach and focuses on providing interactive and hands-on learning experiences.

Students who participate in this camp will:

  • Gain an awareness of the scope and magnitude of their digital footprint
  • Gain an understanding of how to better secure their privacy and access to their personal information and sensitive data against cybercriminals.
  • Understand core cybersecurity concepts on a conceptual and practical level
  • Engage in hands-on activities  to apply core cyber security concepts and techniques
  • Understand the fundamentals of programming concepts and learn to code
  • Engage in authentic programming and exploratory cyber-security labs
  • Meet cyber-security professionals and researchers and explore careers in cyber-security

Target Audience: Rising 6th-12th Grade Students with little to no Computer Science Background


WATCH 1.0: Workshop for African-American Thinking Computationally and Historically (2013-2014)

CS ED Lead: Christina Gardner-McCune
Collaborators: Dr. LaGarrett King and Dr. Penelope Vargas

This project seeks to investigate how African American students’ engagement with technology through mobile apps and site visits to African American historical sites can promote learning local history, historical practices, and computer science. Through a combination of critical historical analysis, fieldwork, and computational artifact creation, the WATCH program seeks to improve history education and address equity issues concerning computational learning. This program is offered in collaboration between Clemson University and local community organizations/ schools.  WATCH is funded through Clemson University’s Research Grant Committee to pilot the initial curriculum development, program concept, and interdisciplinary team of new tenure track-faculty members. Collaborators: Dr. LaGarrett King and Dr. Penelope Vargas.


WATCH 2.0: Workshop for African-American Thinking Computationally and Historically: Teacher PD & Scale-up

CS ED Lead: Christina Gardner-McCune
Collaborators: Dr. LaGarrett King and Dr. Penelope Vargas

This project aims to expand the educational and professional development opportunities available to students and teachers in South Carolina for learning about South Carolina history and computer science. We aim to do this through implementing an innovative professional development program that will engage teachers and subsequently their students in authentic histological and computational thinking projects using app development as a tool. Through this project we aim to (1) understand how rich uses of technology can support the development of more complex historical thinking in the classroom; and (2) to foster the development of teachers’ technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPCK – Mishra & Koehler, 2006) through the design and use of mobile applications for teaching and learning South Carolina history. This program is offered in collaboration between Clemson University and local schools. CT Apps is funded through Clemson University’s HEHD grant, School of Computing, and School of Education to purchase equipment and pilot the curriculum in the classroom. This research is conducted  by an interdisciplinary team of new tenure track-faculty members. 

Computational Thinking Apps (2013-2014)

CS ED Lead: Christina Gardner-McCune
Collaborators: Dr. Danielle Herro and Dr. D. Matthew Boyer

This project explores the extent to which mobile app design and programming can attract middle school learners to engage in computational thinking practices. In addition, this project aims to enhance current STEM standards and mathematics curricular objectives through the integration of computational thinking and programming into science and math classrooms through curriculum and teacher professional development.