Math and CS K-12 Teacher Workshop
Picture 1: Jessica Berger, a teacher at Delphi High School, taught workshop attendees how to program using ALICE.
Picture 2: Teachers at the workshop had the chance to exchange ideas during the roundtable luncheon.
Picture 3: Workshop participants enjoyed learning programming in ALICE.
Picture 4: Ethan Blanton, Graduate Teaching Assistant, assists Vicki Geheb with her ALICE programming during the workshop.
The second annual Purdue Computer Science Linking Mathematics and Computer Science Summer Workshop for teachers was held July 31 through August 2. This workshop was available to all interested teachers of grades 6-12 at no charge. Instructors for the workshop included Jessica Berger of Delphi High school, Prof. Dennis Brylow of Marquette University, and Dr. James Early of Purdue Computer Science. The workshop was developed by the instructors, Prof. Buster Dunsmore (Purdue CS), and Mindy Hart and Bill Walker from the College of Science Outreach Program.
The workshop was developed to help teachers enhance their curriculum and teaching strategies by integrating computer science concepts into their classrooms. Teachers who participated in the workshop had varying experiences in CS. Some had business degrees, CS degrees, or math degrees, but all understood the importance of CS in their classroom. The principal of Dawn Flatt's Indiana school is very interested in making their high school classes multidisciplinary. She attended the workshop to help use more math in her computer science class.
The 3-day workshop attracted participants from Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Diane Labut teaches technical applications and introduction to programming in Michigan. With a limited background in CS, she wanted to take the workshop in order to "gather more information to get the kids revved up." She also liked that the workshop was offered by a big name school. Teachers were also please that the workshop was of no cost to them which made their participation possible.
A favorite activity of teachers was the afternoon sessions in the lab using Java and ALICE. Teacher, Keith Miller was excited to attend the workshop because he " would like to integrate ALICE into my classroom this year." From discussing the activities of the workshop, many teachers highlighted the fact that this workshop offered something very few others offer. Many CS workshops merely cover Java, and the scope of the Purdue workshop went well beyond that with ALICE as well as teaching them the working knowledge of algorithms, binary numbers, recursion, cryptography, and logic circuits.
Teachers completed the workshop with many advantages. Not only did they have many examples to take back to their classrooms, but they gathered new ideas from their peers. Participants enjoyed the collaboration in the workshop and were glad to have the opportunity to see what others are doing in their classrooms. Plus, all participants received $200 from the Purdue Computer Science Department to use for classroom supplies which support the purpose of the workshop.
The Linking Mathematics and Computer Science Summer Workshop was sponsored by Motorola, the College of Science K-12 Outreach Program, the Department of Computer Science, and the Department of Mathematics. Interested teachers should contact the Computer Science Outreach Coordinator, Mindy Hart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 765-494-7802 for information about the 2007 workshop.