Last week, the Infosys Foundation USA held our first ever Pathfinders Winter Institute in Providence, RI. The event brought together 250 teachers from 40 states for a week of hands-on professional development in computer science (CS) and maker education. Here are five highlights from the week:
1. We painted the town blue and orange: Our teachers and professional development providers battled the cold and showed off their Infosys Foundation USA pride by sporting orange and blue knit hats all over Providence. And they showed off their newly honed CS and maker skills by using the hats as props for their robots, illuminating them and creating mini versions for moving avatars. The hats even made an appearance in Boston on an evening excursion by some teachers to visit Rhode Island’s northern neighbor.
2. We launched online: We want the learning and connecting to continue once the in-person Pathfinders Institute is over, so we launched the Pathfinders Online Institute. This digital platform, which is currently only available to Pathfinders Institute alumni, allows teachers to recap in-person courses, connect with likeminded educators and share valuable resources with their peers.
3. Our community grew in size and strength: Beyond the learning, we know that the Pathfinders community is a powerful force. It connects teachers from different schools, states and locales based on a common experience and their shared commitment to bring computer science and making into their classrooms. Last week, we strengthened that bond a little more. Adding almost 200 new teachers to our tribe and reinforcing our ties with the more than 60 teachers who were joining us for their second or third Pathfinders Institute.
4. Our teachers are poised for big impact: We are inspired and energized by the amazing work of our teachers and even more so by the impact they’re making in their classrooms. Together the 250+ educators who were with us in Providence will reach over 8,000 students in the next year with their newfound CS and maker skills. Now that is impressive!
5. We announced the Pathfinders Summer Institute: That’s right, Indiana, we formally broke the news that we’ll be coming back for our third straight summer. The Pathfinders Summer Institute will take at the Indiana University Bloomington campus from July 19-24 with more CS and maker classes than ever before (23 to be exact!). Applications are open now, so apply today!