Carnegie Mellon University has announced that it will work with software giant Electronic Arts to improve the university's Alice programming software
, used at 100 schools across the U.S. to teach the rudiments of programming.
The Alice program allows students to learn the principles of programming with a drag-and-drop GUI interface rather than compiling and executing lines of code, and, according to the ofifcial website: "The focus of the Alice project is now to provide the best possible first exposure to programming for students ranging from middle schoolers to college students."
Electronic Arts will work with the university to make the program more robust and visually stimulating, in order to combat the trend of students becoming disinterested in computer science. According to studies funded by the National Science Foundation, using Alice improves student retention and performance in college-level computer science courses.
The official unveiling of the new Alice version will be held at McKinley Technology High School, in Washington, DC, on March 10th at 10:30 A.M. The school was chosen for the debut of the new software due to its heavy use of Alice in its current curriculum. The government established McKinley as a model tech-focused high school, and over 300 of its students use Alice in their daily studies.