NCWIT EngageCSEdu Engagement Excellence Awards

The NCWIT EngageCSEdu Engagement Excellence Awards, funded by Google, recognize faculty who are making a difference in their introductory computer science classrooms through excellent and engaging curriculum, contributing the best of the best to the EngageCSEdu collection.


NCWIT EngageCSEdu is a growing collection of high quality materials for introductory undergraduate computer science courses created by faculty across the country. All of the peer-reviewed materials in the collection employ a number of “engagement practices” that research suggests are likely to engage students, especially women and other underrepresented groups.

We are pleased to announce the 2018 EngageCSEdu Engagement Excellence Award Recipients!

Grand Prize Winners

Clifton Kussmaul, Muhlenberg College

Dr. Clif Kussmaul is recognized for his work in bringing the collaborative learning technique, Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL), to the field of computer science, including developing a range of imaginative materials that other instructors can implement in their courses. Three of his POGIL assignments in the EngageCSEdu collection -- POGIL:Search I, POGIL:Internet I, and POGIL: Internet III -- are of particular note. Both are great unplugged activities to teach about aspects of the web (such as searching and caching) that should have broad appeal. Using compelling metaphors, these POGIL activities are great opportunities for students to work together on a project they all can relate to.

Zoë Wood, California Polytechnic State University

Dr. Zoë Wood is recognized for her assignment, Impressionism and Implicit Functions: Looping 2D Space. In this highly creative assignment, Dr. Wood uses computational art as a means for exploring beginning computer programming concepts. Dr. Wood’s graphical approach, best exemplified in this Looping assignment, has a number of advantages. First, the visual output provides immediate feedback to students (e.g., in the Looping assignment, there is a “stroke of the paintbrush” for each nested loop). Second, connecting art topics directly to computing problems can engage a broader range of students. Finally, students have something -- their art! -- that they can share with others.

Honorable Mentions

Leen-Kiat Soh, Elizabeth Ingraham, and Lee Dee Miller, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, for Computational Creativity Exercise (CCE): Storytelling

Ria Galanos, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, for CS1 - Twitter


View Previous Winners


Want to become eligible for next year’s award?

Contribute your own engaging resources for introductory computer science courses at To begin, become a member of the EngageCSEdu community by creating an account. Once you're logged in, click "Contribute Materials" to learn more and to access the online submission form. For more information, please contact


Get To Know Us: 

Beth Quinn

Research Scientist & EngageCSEdu Director

Stephanie Weber

Curriculum Specialist

Terry Hogan

President and CTO