Pathfinders Summer Institute: A closer look at our PD providers

April 11, 2019 

With less than a month to go before applications close for the 2019 Pathfinders Summer Institute, time is running out to secure a spot. This year we’re excited to be offering 21 diverse courses from 18 different professional development providers. With the opportunity to develop skills in Scratch, Python, robotics, making, Arduino circuits, and more – there is a lot to uncover at this year’s Pathfinders Summer Institute. 

Learn more about the wide variety of professional development opportunities that are being offered below and remember to submit your application by April 30th, 2019

Art in Motion: This course is a project-based curriculum designed to integrate computer science into art classes. It is designed for grades K-5 and does not require any prior programming experience. 

Beauty and Joy of Computing: This course is an introduction to computer science that emphasizes the joy and complexity of creating visual computer programs. It is designed for grades 9-12 and will give participants a broad overview of the computing discipline. BJC is an AP Computer Science Principles course supported by the NSF and endorsed by the College Board. 

Chibitronics Love to Code; Introduction to Paper Circuits and Coding: This course blends papercraft, circuits and coding using the Love to Code kit from Chibitronics. It aims to make learning to code funny, friendly, and expressive, while teaching programming concepts. This course is designed for grades 4-8. Computer Science Discoveries: This course is an introduction to computer science that covers topics such as programming, physical computing, HTML/CSS, and data. Students will be inspired to build their own websites, apps, games, and physical computing devices. It is designed for grades 6-10 and can be taught as a semester or year-long introductory course. Computer Science Principles: This course is an introduction to the foundational concepts of computer science and its impact on the world. It covers many topics including the internet, Big Data, privacy, programming, and algorithms. It is a year-long course that can be taught as an AP or non-AP course and is for grades 9-12. 

Coding as a Playground: ScratchJr+KIBO Robotics: This course focuses on integrating computer science, computational thinking, and robotics into early childhood classrooms with a playful approach. Teachers will use ScratchJr and KIBO to help children think in new logical ways. It is designed for grades K-2. 

Computational Making: This course will show teachers how to build analog circuits using LEDs, transistors, and sensors, and program an Arduino digital music maker and light chaser using the microcontroller’s native Arduino language. It prepares educators for how to teach critical and creative thinking through hands-on problem-solving activities. It is designed for grades 6-12. 

Everyday Computing: This course is designed for teachers interested in integrating computer science and computational thinking into their mathematics instruction. It will focus specifically on strategies for students with disabilities, English language learners, and at-risk students. This course is designed for grades K-5. 

Firia Labs: Python & Physical Computing with CodeSpace: This course exposes teachers to Python code and will show them how to guide their students through a step-by-step process of learning the Python language, with the support of web-based software tools that help catch errors and debug programs. It is designed for grades 6-12. 

A Hands-on Introduction to STEM coding Project Resources: This course will provide an overview of a number of simple coding activities that reinforce traditional science and math learning objectives. These activities utilize a browser-based code editor that is compatible with a variety of platforms and devices. It is designed for grades 8-12. 

An Introduction to Creative Coding with p5.js: This course is a hands-on workshop that will teach the fundamentals of programming in JavaScript with a graphics and sound library called p5.js. Teachers will learn the basics of computing by building simple projects such as drawing apps and generative designs and get introduced to the p5.js curriculum written by the CS4ALL team at the NYC Department of Education. It is designed for grades 7-12. 

Junior Botball Challenge: This course provides equipment, software, curriculum, and professional development for educators to teach computer science and computational thinking. Attendees do not need any prior CS or programming experience. It is designed for grades K-8. 

Maker Educator Collective Tier 1 Bootcamp: This course supports the integration of maker education principles and philosophies into core curriculum. Teachers will learn skills and model lessons using hands-on engineering and design challenges, digital manufacturing, microcontrollers and electronics, and a variety of other inexpensive low- and high-tech materials and equipment. It is designed for grades K-12. 

Maker Educator Collective Tier 2 Course: This course will advance the expertise of educators who have prior experience running maker programming. This session will focus on further developing teachers’ knowledge and skills while also increasing their familiarity with educational approaches for doing this with learners. It is designed for grades K-12. 

Making & Coding for Social Good: This course teaches design thinking, engineering, and entrepreneurship as tools to solve real-world problems. It is designed for grades 6-12. 

Mobile CSP: This course provides a complete curriculum that engages students and teachers in learning the principles of computer science through building socially useful mobile apps. It is designed for grades 9-12. 

Physical Computing with the BBC micro:bit: The course is a hands-on workshop that takes a deep dive into the practice of physical computing in the classroom. It is organized around a set of physical computing building blocks such as buttons, animation, sensing, light, motion, and music. It is designed for grades 5-8. 

Scratch Creative Computing: This course introduces learners to the basics of block-based programming, computational thinking, and creativity through Harvard’s Scratch Creative Computing guide. It draws upon students’ own imagination to express themselves with code and allows them to create animations, stories, and games with Scratch. It is designed for grades 3-10. 

Stanford’s Introduction to Logic: This course is aimed at teachers teaching computer science and/or math. It covers propositional logic, relational logic, deduction, and proofs. It is designed for grades 9-12. 

Tynker Coding for Kids: This course will teach skills to bring coding education to students in a deep yet engaging manner. Modules will include introductions to Tynker’s platform, curriculum, and approach to assessment, foundational computer science concepts, coding pedagogy, best practices for building inclusive classrooms, and ideas for fostering creativity and a maker mindset. It is designed for grades K-10. 

The Tapestry Workshop: This course focuses on attracting and engaging a diverse set of students in computer science courses. Participants will share strategies, field-tested ideas, and research-based best practices for teaching computer science in a way that reaches all students regardless of sex, race or ethnicity. It is designed for grades 9-12. 

For more information about the Pathfinders Summer Institute or to learn how to apply, visit