- Florida International University has joined Google's RISE Up 4 CS program, which aims to improve pass rates for black students taking AP computer science courses.
- The project is funded by grants from Google and primarily overseen by Georgia Tech.
- Google RISE Up 4 CS couples webinars offered twice a week with a monthly face-to-face weekend session, offering monetary rewards to students who attend review sessions and pass the exam.
Students who attend a set number of review sessions get $100, with an additional $100 if they pass the AP computer science exam. Whether or not this approach will actually encourage more students to pursue STEM degrees is another question entirely, as some students may be motivated by the rewards above all else.
Still, as has been noted on several occasions, there remains a lack of minorities in STEM fields. As eSchool News notes, the AP computer science exam is passed by less than 50% of Florida high school students, with an even lower number of black students passing — only 16 of 83 who took it in 2013 passed. With that in mind, anything that could boost STEM achievement is probably worth trying.