AdaIC NEWS Fall 1995
|The high cost of tools is a continuing problem in the universities. To help, the AJPO let a competitive contract to develop a "shrinkwrapped" Ada 95 textbook and compiler environment. This textbook should be available in early 1996 and is expected to be offered for sale in college bookstores for under $60.|
And of course there's also the GNAT compiler, which is freely available over the Internet and by other means. Information on obtaining either or both of these compilers -- and on other AJPO education initiatives -- can be obtained from the AdaIC.
All of these efforts working together can help bring Ada to a wider audience. The language itself has proven to be an outstanding learning tool. Getting it into the hands of as many students and beginning programmers as possible is both a need and an opportunity.
High-school students have been learning Ada successfully for several years now. In West Virginia, Preston County High School started teaching Ada in 1989; Morgantown High School followed shortly thereafter.
Since 1993, the Software Productivity Consortium (SPC) and DoD's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) have been supporting a high-school-level curriculum in megaprogramming -- building software with building blocks instead of lines of code.
The AJPO has teamed with ARPA to launch an initiative aimed at teaching students megaprogramming in Ada in high schools. A hands-on course is being developed by the Virginia Center of Excellence (VCOE); it has already attracted interest in California, Colorado, Mississippi, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.
The Ada megaprogramming course has been piloted at Morgantown and at two high schools in the Washington, D.C., area. Based on feedback from from these pilots, the program will be refined for distribution to high schools throughout the nation -- expected during the FY96-97 school year. It is intended that the AJPO's Ada Software Engineering Education and Training (ASEET) Team will assist as an extended mentoring network.
For further information, contact:
Greg Friedmann, Manager
Software Productivity Consortium
2214 Rock Hill Road
Herndon, VA 22070
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