First Name

Baker

Last Name

Franke

Bio

Since he started teaching in 2002, Baker has worked to increase the visibility and credibility of high school computer science. With much help from his colleagues at Lab, Baker helped institute a computer science graduation requirement at The Laboratory Schools. The result was the development of an introductory computer science course that is taken by all 9th graders at the school. Baker is also proud of the number of young women who take AP Computer Science at Lab and go on to major in CS or a related field and then move on to take jobs in the industry. For the past two years Baker has seen 50% female enrollment in AP Computer Science which he credits mostly to the visibility that the NCWIT award provides to young women each year at the school. Recently Baker has been working on a project as part of the NSF-funded grant entitled "Computational Thinking Across the Curriculum," which was started three years ago by Amber Settler at DePaul University as an effort to help instructors in traditionally non-technical disciplines include projects in their courses that require computational thinking. Baker's research is related to finding effective instructional methods for teaching computer programming to 9th graders in short, non-contiguous periods of time. On March 1, 2011 Baker addressed a panel of congressional aides and education policy makers on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. as part of the "Computing in the Core" advocacy effort to include federally mandated computer science standards in the new Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Baker participated in the hearing as part of a panel of CS educators, students, school superintendents and advocates by sharing his perspective on teaching CS to students in grades K-12. Baker has a B.A. in Computer Science and English from Amherst College in Massachusetts, and an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Chicago.