Infosys Foundation USA will host the Pathfinders Summer Institute 2019, an intensive week of in-person professional development in Computer Science and Making, at Indiana University Bloomington from July 14-19, 2019.
500 US K-12 public school teachers will convene at #InfyPathfinders for high-quality hands-on training. Special consideration will be given to high-needs schools, teachers from under-represented communities, those new to teaching CS and Making, and districts demonstrating significant commitment to these subjects.
Applications for Pathfinders Summer Institute 2019 are now closed.
Pathfinders Summer Institute 2019 gratefully recognizes financial, material, and outreach support from:
Professional Development Course Options at Pathfinders Summer Institute
$1998 (50% grant from Infosys Foundation USA covers first $999 for US public school teachers)
Course offered by Georgia Tech CEISMC
Program Faculty: Tamara Pearson, Georgia Institute of Technology CEISMC; Katie Henry, BirdBrain Technologies
Art in Motion is a project-based curriculum designed to authentically integrate computer science into art classes. Utilizing local art museums and galleries, students select inspiration pieces as the basis for moving robotic sculptures made using the Hummingbird Robotics Kit and programmed in Scratch. Students design and create their robots using strategies and processes used for any art project: sketching, journaling, revision, peer critique, etc. This program helps students, who don’t normally see themselves as part of the computer science pipeline, broaden their view of themselves as potential coders. Participants in this professional development will learn everything they need to know to be able to implement this authentic STEAM project back at their school. You will even have the opportunity to select your own inspiration piece through participating in a tour of the Eskenazi Museum of Art on the IU Bloomington campus. Each participant who completes the professional development will walk away with their own Hummingbird Robotics Kit. No programming experience is necessary, but participants must bring their own computer.
"By trade I am a theatre arts educator but I was asked to take on the role of a coding teacher. At first I was very hesitant to do so, but I tried my hardest to give my students thoughtful and engaging coding lessons. Before attending Pathfinders, I thought of my theatre classes as just theatre classes and my coding classes as just coding. Now, my way of thinking about the arts and technology has completely changed. I know that I can incorporate both disciplines into one another. I have also found that my students enjoy the lessons more when both contents are intertwined. There truly is no technology without arts and design!" - Katie Jones, Oaklawn Language Academy, NC
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
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
Course offered by Chibitronics
Program Faculty: Susan Brown, Chibitronics; Barbara Liedahl, Chibitronics
This workshop blends papercraft, circuits, and coding using the Love to Code kit from Chibitronics. 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. Through creative craft activities and with the help of the Love to Code interactive storybook, we will aim to make learning to code funny, friendly and expressive, while teaching programming concepts including digital and analog I/O, control flow, variables, and multithreading. Participants will create an accordion book that works well with paper circuits. The mechanics of the book allow access to the hidden electronics, so only functions powered by the hidden circuit show in finished work. We will also apply paper circuits, origami, kirigami, plus servo motors to create a fictional city that can be used to develop children's sense of their place in the world, be it now or in the future.
Takeaways include paper electronics concepts and skills, an introduction to microcontroller programming, examples of classroom projects, discussion of how blended art and engineering approaches can be applied in classrooms across disciplines, and support in developing a classroom activity of their own. No teacher prerequisite.
"I just wanted to drop a thank you for arranging the Love to Code workshop last Saturday. It was without a doubt the most worthwhile workshop, even on a Saturday, that I’ve ever attended. I told Jie and Natalie, there wasn’t a single element of the day that wasn’t great... I felt like it was worth my time driving up after the name-tag activity, and it just kept getting better. I saw so many possibilities with this coding approach... I’ve been informally sharing with my colleagues all day, and I’ll present it during our faculty meeting this Wednesday, and my fellow district tech integrator this Friday" - Chris Beckwith, University of Maine, ME
$0 (Free for Indiana Teachers after 100% grant funding)
Course offered by Nextech
Program Faculty: Stephanie Zircher, Nextech; Scott Dooley, Christel House Academy
Indiana teachers: If you are interested in a Code.org professional learning program from Nextech, please go directly to the Code.org application located here. Please do not proceed with the Pathfinders “How It Works” application process.
The Code.org Computer Science Discoveries (CS Discoveries) course is an introductory computer science course that empowers students to create authentic artifacts and engage with computer science as a medium for creativity, communication, problem solving, and fun. Computer Science Discoveries is appropriate for 6 - 10th grade students and can be taught as a semester or yearlong introductory course (3-5 hours per week of instruction for 9+ weeks). The course takes a wide lens on computer science by covering topics such as programming, physical computing, HTML/CSS, and data. The course inspires students as they build their own websites, apps, games, and physical computing devices. The CS Discoveries program offers year-round support. It kicks off with a 5-day summer workshop where you'll have an opportunity to work hands-on with the curriculum and meet other teachers from your area. Throughout the year, we offer online support for upcoming units, forum support, and 1-day quarterly workshops. You don't need any prior computer science experience to get started. And teachers love it! 90% rank it the best professional development ever. As the Indiana Code.org Regional Partner, Nextech facilitates professional development activities for Computer Science Discoveries, Computer Science Principles, and Computer Science Fundamentals curriculum for teachers statewide. Since launching in 2015, Nextech has provided professional development for 174 licensed educators from 85 schools. We are on the forefront of the statewide #CSforIN movement, and we’d love to have you as a future partner teacher. To learn more about the Nextech program including commitments, stipends, and more, go here.
"Through training, we spend time in the summer learning how to use the curriculum and then we have our Saturday meetings where we refresh for the next unit. I've had an opportunity to learn a lot from other teachers that teach CS, and I've also been handed curriculum that helps guide my direction. In the Nextech training, you're building the confidence to try something new. There are a few people that have taught CS before but a lot of us are learning for the first time. We're learning that it's okay to mess up, and it’s okay if you don’t know all of the answers." - Angela Jones, Northwest High School, Indianapolis, IN
Course offered by Nextech
Program Faculty: Stephanie Zircher, Nextech; Julie Alano, Hamilton Southeastern High School, Fishers, IN
Code.org Computer Science Principles introduces students to the foundational concepts of computer science and challenges them to explore how computing and technology can impact the world. More than a traditional introduction to programming, it is a rigorous, engaging, and approachable course that explores many of the foundational ideas of computing so all students understand how these concepts are transforming the world we live in. The course covers many topics including the Internet, Big Data and Privacy, and Programming and Algorithms. This year-long course can be taught as an AP or non-AP course - no prerequisites required for students or for teachers. Code.org is recognized by the College Board of curriculum and professional development for AP® Computer Science Principles. Using an endorsed provider affords schools access to resources including an AP CS Principles syllabus pre-approved by the College Board’s AP Course Audit, and officially recognized professional development that prepares teachers to teach this course. The program offers year-round support. It kicks off with a 5-day summer workshop where you'll have an opportunity to work hands-on with the curriculum and meet other teachers from your area. Throughout the year, we offer online support for upcoming units, forum support, and 1-day quarterly workshops. As the Indiana Code.org Regional Partner, Nextech facilitates professional development activities for Computer Science Discoveries, Computer Science Principles, and Computer Science Fundamentals curriculum for teachers statewide. Since launching in 2015, Nextech has provided professional development for 174 licensed educators from 85 schools. We are on the forefront of the statewide #CSforIN movement, and we’d love to have you as a future partner teacher. To learn more about the Nextech program including commitments, stipends, and more, go here.
Course offered by DevTech research group, Tufts University
Program Faculty: Emily Relkin (supervised by Prof. Marina Umaschi Bers, Tufts University)
This professional development targets teachers working with young children K-2 who are interested in integrating computer science (CS), computational thinking (CT) and robotics into their early childhood classrooms with a playful developmentally appropriate approach. The DevTech group at Tufts University, led by Prof. Marina Umaschi Bers, has created both ScratchJr (in collaboration with Mitch Resnick’s group at the MIT Media Lab) and KIBO robotics, a robotic kit that can be programmed without screens or keyboards by connecting wooden blocks. It has also developed a pedagogical approach, called “Coding as a Playground”, teaching strategies and materials to integrate programming with other areas of the early childhood curriculum, with a special focus on literacy, creative problem solving, arts and dance. We will experience this approach through hands-on projects and model how to teach coding and robotics in an early childhood classroom. We will explore how to both take advantage of ScratchJr and KIBO for helping children think in new logical ways, but also for collaborating and developing socio-emotional awareness. Teachers who attend this PD will: Have the opportunity to become experts with KIBO robotics and ScratchJr; Learn and have access to already existing curriculum, videos and assessment materials; Develop and plan their own integrated curriculum materials; Have access to a set of program links and teaching resources at the K-2 level that include on screen, tangible and unplugged activities; Understand the pedagogical and theoretical approach by discussing excerpts from the book “Coding as a Playground: Programming and Computational Thinking in the Early Childhood Classroom” by Marina Umaschi Bers; Explore different techniques to document student’s learning trajectories; and Learn strategies for promoting home-school connections and community engagement through programming and robotics.
Explore different techniques to document student’s learning trajectories; and Learn strategies for promoting home-school connections and community engagement through programming and robotics.
"I learned a tremendous amount and loved being part of this community of learners and the variety of activities. It was playful and instructive, we had theory and practice and hands-on and thinking and planning ahead for how we would use this with children. This can pervade every aspect of your curriculum! I just so appreciate that we’re talking about young children, and we’re talking about young children being able to do serious work, and work hard at it—that is really powerful for me." - Kindergarten teacher from Maryland
Course offered by Mouse
Program Faculty: Tom Bijesse, Mouse; Chelien Brown, Mouse
Today’s students head towards a future of many unknowns: careers that do not yet exist and technological impacts on daily life and decision making that we cannot fathom. Our Computational Making course prepares middle and high school educators to teach critical and creative thinking through hands-on problem-solving activities. Students apply Human-Centered Design to develop effective research, brainstorming, prototyping, collaborating skills to create technologies that address an authentic need now and into the future.
Throughout the week, participants also delve into our making ethos of using technology as a force of good through our Circuitry & Electronics course. Educators will 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. This course can be run as a stand-alone technology or making course during or after school or integrated into core STEM or humanities subject areas.
"I love that every time I participate in a Mouse workshop, you provide tools and materials I can implement in the classroom with minor modifications but you also challenge me to take your materials and make them work with my students’ design and programming skills.” - Luna Ramirez, Queens NY, Information Technology High School
Course offered by Creative Technology Research Lab at UIUC; UChicago STEM Education at the University of Chicago; Everyday Computing
Program Faculty: Maya Israel, Creative Technology Research Lab, University of Florida; Todd Lash, Creative Technology Research Lab UIUC; Carla Strickland, UChicago STEM Education
This professional development targets elementary teachers interested in integrating computer science (CS) and computational thinking (CT) into their mathematics instruction. Special attention will be spent on instructional strategies and supports for academically diverse learners, including those at risk for academic failure, students with disabilities, and English language learners. We will share lessons learned and suggestions for implementing combined mathematics and CS/CT activities that teach new mathematics concepts as well as reinforce already familiar mathematics. Teachers who attend this PD will: Have the opportunity to explore integrated elementary mathematics and CS/CT activities and lessons; Use an interactive Learning Trajectories tool to aid their own integration efforts; Develop their own materials that are tied to their mathematics curriculum; Have access to a set of program links to teaching resources for integrated mathematics at the K–5 level; Participating teachers will also learn general strategies for highlighting the CS/CT that is already happening in their mathematics classes and suggestions about where to find resources to support more CS/CT in their classes. Finally, if teachers have limited experience in the Scratch programming environment (a block-based programming language for young children), they will have the opportunity to learn how to get started with Scratch.
"I initially signed up for the Everyday Computing because I thought “I like computers and how fun will it be to spend a week at my alma-mater?” Little did I know how transformative this course would be. It helped me learn how to infuse computer science particularly coding into my elementary education classroom. This year coding has had a dramatic impact on my classroom from student engagement to how my students and I relate to each other. Students have enjoyed completing coding projects in math and then creating their own coding projects in literacy." - Valerie Baxter, Infysys Pathfinders 2018 Participant, Field Elementary School in IL
Course offered by Firia Labs
Program Faculty: David Ewing, Firia Labs; Geri Ewing, Firia Labs; Amber Merrill, Athens City Schools
Whether you're brand new to the world of code, or a seasoned pro, you’re sure to learn a lot from this course! Get your hands on some real Python code, and experience how physical computing can level-up the engagement for your students. What are the advantages to CodeSpace? CodeSpace takes students away from block-based programming into the world of text through the use of: Open-ended physical hardware, used to implement meaningful projects, Open-ended software, integrating development tools with instructional content and Python, the fastest growing major programming language used in Industry
Students are given the opportunity to directly apply the tools well beyond the scope of what is covered in the curriculum. The program is comprised of a cross-curricular project-based model grounded in the maker mindset: creating new physical devices and tinkering with existing ones. Some of the projects we will complete include creating a level, a game spinner, night light, and multi-sensor alarm system. Central to the approach is the exclusive use of text-based programming, rather than drag-and-drop icons. Students are guided step-by-step in the process of learning the Python language, with the support of web-based software tools that help catch errors and debug programs. This allows a natural process of learning through making mistakes and iteratively fixing them. The approach appeals to students otherwise uninterested in learning programming, as they seek relevance, meaning, and real-world value from instruction.
"One of the hardest things to teach students is perseverance. With CodeSpace, not only is perseverance embedded, but the students WANT to work through their problems. When the bell rings and it's time to go, they groan and ask if they can stay and keep working. It's self-guided, so students can work at their own pace. When they figure out something on their own, they celebrate. When they have a question, they lean over and ask a friend to explain it to them. It's teaching those intangible skills that our students need for the workplace." - Amber Merrill, Athens Middle School, AL
Course offered by Peblio and The Processing Foundation
Program Faculty: Saber Khan, Processing Foundation; Esther Hersh, Peblio
$2,098 ($1,998 + $100 for post PD support; 50% grant from Infosys Foundation USA covers first $1,049 for US public school teachers)
Course offered by KISS Institute for Practical Robotics
Program Faculty: Carol Goodgame; Ashley Borgerding; Steve Goodgame, KISS Institute for Practical Robotics
The Junior Botball Challenge is a Computer Science (CS) focused education program that provides reusable robotics equipment, standards aligned curriculum and professional development for elementary and middle school educators (K-8) to enable them to teach their students computer science and computational thinking concepts coupled with real-life applications of the engineering design process. Attendees do not need any prior CS or programming experience. The curriculum is aligned to Common Core math, Next Generation Science and CSTA standards and vertically aligned to concepts and skills in middle and high school. The inquiry-based program focuses on discrete programming skills and engineering design concepts designed to improve computational skills and promote mastery. The program is currently being successfully implemented in over 900 elementary schools with a focus on education and impacting all of the students in the classroom or extracurricular club or camp. If the teachers and students are interested they can participate in one-day public events where student teams showcase their robot designs and challenge solutions. The program is sustainable as schools can reuse the equipment allowing for continued participation. The focus on education (computer science, engineering and math standards) coupled with the sustainability and the low cost of the equipment, which includes activity mats, curriculum, and professional development make it easier for all teachers in a school and not just the STEM, gifted or technology teachers that traditionally participate in these types of activities.
"I came to the Pathfinders Junior Botball Challenge workshop with zero experience with coding, robots or teaching computer science concepts. After the first session, I knew this was something that I could be successful at and was eager to bring it back to my elementary classroom. It was an AMAZING five days! I left with equipment, curriculum and so many great teaching skills that it pays dividends with not only my class, but also my weekly robotics club I started that has now grown to more than 50 students." - Jennie Clement, John K. Hubbard Elementary School, Noble, OK.
Course offered by Maker Educator Collective
Program Faculty: Adam Maltese, Indiana University; Casey Shea & Anna Van Dordrecht, Sonoma County Office of Education; IdaMae Craddock & Erin Riley
In this Bootcamp we seek to develop the skills of educators who want to incorporate making into their pedagogical toolkit. We designed this bootcamp based on our research and collective years of experience working with K-12 students and teachers with the aim of supporting the integration of maker education principles and philosophies into core curriculum. Sessions will provide attendees with 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. We will start educators on the road to considering how maker pedagogy is related to relevant learning goals and standards, and how to document and assess learning. Attendees do not need any prior making, computer science or programming experience to enroll.
Course offered by Maker Educator Collective
In this program we will advance the expertise of educators who have prior experience running maker programming. Through the lens of ‘making as a pedagogy’ this session will focus on further developing the knowledge and skills of participants while also increasing their familiarity with educational approaches for doing this with learners. Participants will design, receive feedback on and revise elements to integrate making into their current curriculum or develop new curricula. Participants will be guided through how to consider best approaches for assessment and to engage in designing curricula for accessibility and equity.
Course offered by Project Invent
Program Faculty: Connie Liu, Project Invent; Rob Zomber, Nueva School
Join Project Invent to learn about how to bring impactful making and coding to your school. We teach design thinking, engineering, and entrepreneurship as tools to solve real-world problems. Through this, we've increased female involvement in engineering and making at our partner schools by 250%! Students in our program have developed everything from a smart wallet that helps the blind detect bill denominations to a steering wheel attachment that prevents drowsy driving. We fully embrace the learn-by-doing model, so we will prepare you for mentoring invention...by having you invent!
Participants will go from passion to product to pitch in 5 days to experience all of the roadblocks and challenges that students will experience throughout the year. We will show you how to use Arduino as a platform for programming and building inventions, and we will introduce novel frameworks for how to make programming and circuitry approachable for students of all ages. You will leave this professional development with a strong set of tools for creating real-world context around making and programming.
"Project Invent is an awesome program: I think it really honed in on a lot of the things I've been thinking about as I start teaching design and engineering. It provided a lot of rigor to the things that I'd been trying to formalize in my head. I think it's a great way for newer teachers to understand these concepts and experienced ones to build on their experience and learn more about engaging their classroom with the community." - Miles Eldon, Latitude High School in Oakland, CA (XQ Super School)
$2,298 ($1,998 + $300 for post PD support; free for the first 20 US public school teachers after 100% funding from Infosys Foundation USA and National Science Foundation)
Course offered by National Center for Computer Science Education, College of St. Scholastica
Program Faculty: Jennifer Rosato, College of St. Scholastica
Mobile CSP provides a complete curriculum and professional development that engages students and teachers in learning the principles of computer science through building socially useful mobile apps - reaching students where they live, on their mobile devices. Students complete 6 units, each of which includes lessons on app tutorials and creative projects, big ideas in computer science, and the impact of computing. Lesson plans and a teacher dashboard are provided to easily implement the curriculum and track student progress. In 2018, a question bank will be available for assessments as well. The Mobile CSP curriculum is endorsed by the College Board for the AP Computer Science Principles course, which was the largest launch of an AP course in history. This Mobile CSP Pathfinders program will provide an overview of Mobile CSP including hands-on experience with MIT’s App Inventor, a blocks-based language for programming mobile apps. Teachers will also learn and practice inclusive and effective strategies for creating a classroom environment where all students can learn computer science. Teachers will be mentored by experienced Mobile CSP master teachers during the summer and academic year while teaching the course. Teachers will join this warm and supportive community that includes over 600 teachers and 10,000 students throughout the U.S. Teachers will also need to complete about 5 hours of pre-work in our online course
"I have worked with (other curriculums) and Mobile Computer Science Principles stands above them all. The community that they have created is amazingly supportive and always there to help others that have questions. For many instructors, they are the only ones that teach computer science at their site, but true collaboration and support is only a single click away. I can personally assure you that the curriculum created by their excellent team is truly engaging, academically solid, and aligned with the College Board. Everything you need to be successful is ready for you to use and modify as you wish." - Ray Kinne, San Diego High School in California
Course offered by MicroBlocks
Program Faculty: John Maloney, MicroBlocks; Jen Lavalle, Cambridge Public Schools
We believe that no matter our age, we all learn by doing and making. Physical computing activities engage a wide range of students in rigorous and joyful computer science experiences. From light-up hats to kinetic artwork, physical computing empowers students to create tangible, real-world projects that are personally meaningful. The goal of this hands-on workshop is to take a deep dive into the practice of physical computing in the classroom. By the end of the week, participants will be comfortable writing scripts to control the inexpensive BBC micro:bit, both by itself and with additional components. Most important, they'll be ready to create their own engaging computer science learning experiences for their students using these tools.
The course will be organized around a set of physical computing building blocks such as buttons, animation, sensing, light, motion, and music. Each topic will be introduced with a simple, classroom-ready starter activity and a list of ideas for explorations. We’ll also discuss troubleshooting techniques and how to draw student attention to deeper scientific and computational ideas in the context of engaging and generative activities.
Each participant will take home a kit with BBC micro:bits and other components to use with their students. They will need a laptop with a USB port (Mac, Windows, Linux, or Chromebook). Prior experience with Scratch or a similar blocks language is helpful but not required.
Program Faculty: Carlos Leon, Mouse; Rachel Brown, Mouse
The Scratch Creative Computing workshop focuses on a style of learning which supports the connection of a student’s personal interests and values to computer science. Creative computing draws upon their own imagination to express themselves with code. The curriculum consists of over 50 hours of instructional content that allows students to create animations, stories, and games with Scratch, a visual block-based programming language and tool created at MIT.
Through hands-on activities, all learners will be introduced to the basics of block-based programming, computational thinking, and creativity through Harvard’s Scratch Creative Computing guide. Participants then dive deeper in Scratch game design and learn how to use technology as a force of good through our Mouse Serious Games course.
This course can be integrated into a stand-alone technology block or integrated into math, social studies, science, art, or language subjects.
"My confidence in teaching computer science has increased 1000 fold. This is due to the the teaching style of Mouse facilitators and the curriculum. I can't believe how much I have learned about Scratch and programming in 4 days! I have been going to PD for 36 years. This is one of the top five ever!" - Jo Reed, Houston TX, Pathfinders Summer Institute 2018
Course offered by Tynker
Program Faculty: Daniel Rezac, Krishna Vedati & Srinivas Mandyam, Tynker
Introducing the Tynker Master Educator PD! This training is designed for all teachers – whether you are brand new to coding or have years of experience. You will learn skills to bring coding education to your 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. You will learn how to get your students excited with physical computing projects like flying drones, controlling Spheros, and programming LEGOs. Mini electives will be offered for teachers interested in diving deeper into elementary or middle school curricula as well as for supplemental off-screen computational thinking activities and the history of computing. Teachers will model classroom interactions and develop skills with group discussions, exercises, and personal reflections. Attendees will leave this PD with the knowledge, experience, and resources to effectively support their students on the path to coding mastery.
"We want our students to be critical thinkers and reflect on their learning. Using coding in the classroom encourages collaboration, communication, innovation, problem-solving, and personal growth…The Tynker platform give us a way to manage this type of learning, and keeps things interactive and engaging." - Xay Saysana, Buffalo Trail Public Schools