Computer science classes may have positive social effects

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Researchers from U-M, Cornell University, and the Nairobi Play project studied the social and cultural effects of computer science classes. The researchers found that computer science classes can encourage children to work together overcome cultural barriers. Kentaro Toyama, a professor in the School of Information, was part of the team.

The researchers interviewed and observed children from a Kenyan refugee camp as they participated in an introductory computer science class. Students from different countries and ethnic groups were asked to work together to create video games. Through the creation process, children learned to address and overcome conflict in a constructive way.