Nextech at Pathfinders Summer Institute

July 22nd, 2019

This past week, teachers from across the country went back to the classroom early. Except instead of standing at the front of the room, they were the students. They were there to participate in the second annual Pathfinders Summer Institute, hosted by Infosys Foundation USA at Indiana University Bloomington.

Nextech joined 14 other professional development providers to offer a week of hands-on, in-person training in computer science and maker education for teachers from across the country. Of the over 400 teachers who came to campus, 117 of them call Indiana home. Over the next year, these Hoosiers will reach over 5,000 students and help them learn and hone their skills in computer science.

Nextech offered two courses at Pathfinders: Code.org’s Computer Science Discoveries and Code.org’s Computer Science Principles to introduce educators who with varying levels of CS proficiency basic concepts.

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. Meant for 6 – 10th grade students, the course takes a wide lens on computer science by covering topics such as programming, physical computing, HTML/CSS, and data.

The 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.

In addition to the professional development in the classroom, Infosys Foundation USA organized evening activities on 3D printing, cybersecurity and software engineering to expose teachers to real life applications of their studies. We even heard from a former astronaut about his journey to space!

We’re proud to participate in Pathfinders for the second time and look forward to joining future years to make CS accessible and equitable to all students and teachers across the state.

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