Dr. Neda Blackburn
Computer Science Teacher/Director of STEM Institute, Roland Park Country School
My background is in CS: my Bachelor's and Master's degrees are in computer science, and my PhD is in Educational Technology, where I concentrated on boosting interest in computer science through students designing video games. I have a particular passion to engage underrepresented populations in computer science and STEM fields; as a female in computer science, I know what it is like to feel like the only one in the room. My goal is to make computer science accessible to all and to provide students with the opportunity to engage, explore, and learn.
This is my second year as the STEM Director at Roland Park Country School, an all-girls private school in Baltimore. I am the only CS teacher and teach Introduction to Programming and AP Computer Science Principles, as well as a STEM elective in programming and robotics. We belong to a tri-school system that allows students to take classes at other campuses, so students can still take more computer science classes (including AP CS A, App Development, Advanced Topics) in their high school career. There is no requirement for computer science or technology at my school, so it is my mission to really pique their interest to take a computer science course. I would love for every student to take at least one computer science course in high school, since technology is part of everyone's lives, and having a basic understanding of algorithms and code can help every single career path.
This is my first year bringing the Computer Science Honors Society to campus, which has been a great success so far. The students in CSHS also want to help engage more students in computer science and ran this activity for our middle school students. I also run the cybersecurity competition club, CyberPatriot, at RPCS, and we are building up a Robotics team as well.