Return to Pathfinders Homepage

Pathfinders Winter Institute Course Catalogue

Program Cost

  • The Pathfinders Winter Institute has been designed to make it possible for teachers to receive high quality professional development at no cost to you. The cost for all courses except for Computer Science Fundamentals and CS Awesome is $2,341. Infosys Foundation USA will cover majority of the funding and the balance is expected to be raised by teacher applicants one of two ways:
    • Secure school, district, PTA funds
      A 70% grant from Infosys Foundation USA will cover the first $1,638.70 for US K-12 public school teachers and the remainder must be raised through school/district/PTA funding
    • Raise funds through by creating a project
      You will receive a 3X match offer from Infosys Foundation USA tripling each donation you receive – that means a $100 donation becomes a $300 donation.
  • Computer Science Fundamentals will be free for Rhode Island Teachers after 100% grant funding from Infosys Foundation USA.
  • The cost for CS Awesome is $2341 (*However, it will be free for the first 25 US public school teachers who apply given 100% funding from Infosys Foundation USA and Google)
Art with the BBC micro:bit

Grades 4-12

Program Faculty: Katie Henry, Micro:bit Educational Foundation; John Maloney, MicroBlocks

Art with the BBC micro:bit

In this class, inspired by the "Art in Motion" curriculum from Georgia Tech CEISMC, participants will design and create dynamic sculptures, using a BBC micro:bit and inexpensive robotic components to add motion, light, and/or sound to their creations. Participants will learn planning, mechanical construction, electrical wiring, coding, and troubleshooting, all while working on creative, hands-on projects.

The focus on art helps students who don’t normally see themselves as part of the computer science pipeline broaden their view of themselves as potential coders and makers. Participants will learn everything they need to implement this authentic STEAM project back at their schools. Each participant will walk away with a BBC micro:bit and a kit of robotic components. No prior programming experience is necessary, but participants must bring their own laptops.

Beauty and Joy of Computing

Grades 9-12

Since 2012

Course offered by The Beauty and Joy of Computing

Program Faculty: Tiffany Barnes, North Carolina State University; Dan Garcia, University of California, Berkeley; Lauren Mock, University of California, Berkeley

Beauty and Joy of Computing

The Beauty and Joy of Computing (BJC) is an introductory computer science curriculum for high school students to get a broad perspective of computing and its impacts. BJC is designed to attract diverse students, including females and underrepresented minorities, by emphasizing the joy and complexity of creating visual computer programs and with critical reflection on the impacts of new computing technology. Through BJC, students will learn about core programming concepts, big data, internet foundations, as well as abstraction, creativity, and social implications of computing.

BJC is an AP Computer Science Principles course, endorsed by the College Board, and supported through NSF-funded projects at North Carolina State University, UC Berkeley, and the Education Development Center. The Snap! visual programming language and research-based curriculum prepare students for the new AP CSP exam, however, attendees are not required to offer BJC as an AP course. Computer Science experience is not required for teachers or students.

"BJC Palooza was extremely helpful for teaching AP CSP this year. My instructor, Sean, was AWESOME. He did a great job of fitting each day to what we needed. The networking/friendships made during the week have been a plus as well. I have found the bi-weekly small groups during the year a great place to get questions answered and troubleshoot classroom issues." - Kim Overman, Ponderosa High School, Shingle Springs, CA

Chibitronics; Paper Circuit City

Grades 4-8+

Since 2018

Course offered by Chibitronics

Program Faculty: Susan Brown, Chibitronics; Barbara Liedahl, Chibitronics

Chibitronics; Paper Circuit City

In this workshop, participants will use paper circuits to explore the intersection of media arts and engineering by teaming up to imagine and build interactive papercraft models of a “future city.” Participants will learn to build expressive circuits on paper with easy to use peel and stick electronic modules (LED stickers), copper tape, and a variety of art and craft materials. They will then program these circuits to be interactive using a reusable microcontroller in a clip form factor, designed to be moved easily between pages. Participants will learn to program their circuits with Microsoft Makecode, a block-based programming language that runs in the browser on phones, tablets, or computers. Finally, they will apply these techniques to a “paper city” design challenge, creating tangible paper models to interactively illustrate what they have imagined.

In contrast to traditional electronics materials like wires and breadboards, paper circuits makes use of familiar craft materials such as tape, paint, and stickers to build working electronics that look and feel like paper but, through the power of circuitry and code, can come to life with sensing and interactivity. Because paper is so common and familiar, learners can use the skills and comfort that they already have for creating with paper as a friendly on-ramp into the new world of electronics and programming. And because paper is such a flexible artistic medium, combining it with circuits also broadens ideas about what technology can look and feel like, helping to nurture artistic creativity and personal expression.

"The excitement on students’ faces when they accomplish creating their first circuit is priceless. The Pathfinders’ Chibitronics class allowed educators to learn to create and troubleshoot circuits while working to accomplish the task at hand. Through measuring, drawing, coding, and creating, all STEAM modalities are addressed in this hands-on training. Coding with LED lights to create personal masterpieces brings a form of confirmation of victory that our students need to continue to meet success. I saw this first hand during Pathfinders showcase night. I presented what I had learned about Chibitronics to high schoolers who got hands-on experience with the Chibitronics kit. They were blown away, seeing things learned in science class applied to real life through circuitry. The students worked hard and persevered to create various circuits; it was powerful to see students begin to assist each other with troubleshooting a broken circuit and then regrouping to try again." - Takia Toomer, Kettering Middle School, Upper Marlboro, MD