Computing teachers & students benefit from summer learning at Georgia Tech

The Institute for Computing Education (ICE) at Georgia Tech has just finished another summer of offering computing summer camps and teacher workshops to advance computing education in Georgia. Since 2004, ICE has been an integral part of supporting computing teachers and students throughout Georgia.

Summer camps
Each year, elementary, middle, and high school students flock to the Georgia Tech campus for week-long computing camps, taught by a local computing teacher assisted by high school students and undergraduates.  Topics this summer included App Inventor, CS Unplugged, LEGO Robots, Scratch, Alice, Blockly and Arduino, and EarSketch, The materials to help others start computing summer camps can be found at : Materials for Computing Summer Camps. In 2014, the following camps were offered: 

  •    Make your own apps with App Inventor! 
  •    Visual Art and Simulations with LEGO NXT and Scratch 
  •    Make Android Apps in Java 
  •    Apps and Telepresence with Robots with App Inventor and LEGO NXT 
  •    Computational Crafting with Blockly and Arduino 
  •    WeDo and Scratch 
  •    Animal Simulations with LEGO EV3 and Scratch 
  •    Art and movement with Scratch and LEGO WeDo 
  •    Arduino and Alice
  •    EarSketch I
  •    Art, Music, and Games with Scratch and App Inventor (NCWIT Supported - Girls Only) 
  •    Music and Dancing with PicoBoard and Scratch

ICE had 230 students attend these camps during the summer of 2014.  The students were 40% female and 48% African American, 3% Hispanic, 8% Biracial.  We had 353 applicants. For more information on these camps see http://coweb.cc.gatech.edu/ice-gt/2271 .  

Professional Development
Georgia Tech also supports teacher learning with a variety of professional development opportunities. In 2014, ICE organized the following:  

  •    STEM Think Tank workshop on App Inventor – an opportunity for educators to try several hands-on projects in App Inventor.
  •    Two workshops at the CSTA conference: AP CS A Labs and Media Computation in Python.   At the AP CS A labs workshop participants had an opportunity to discuss ways to integrate the labs and provide some hands-on experience with the labs.  At the Media Computation in Python workshop attendees wrote programs in Python to manipulate pictures and sounds.  
  •    CS Principles with EarSketch (http://earsketch.gatech.edu) - a workshop preparing teachers to teach Python programming through EarSketch, an integrated Python API, coding and music production environment, curriculum, audio loop library, and social sharing site that teaches programming concepts (e.g. variables, functions, loops, lists, and strings) in the context of music remixing. Developed at Georgia Tech since 2011, EarSketch has been used in elementary, middle, and high school computing courses in Georgia and in college-level online courses, and it has been shown to effectively engage students (and particularly female students) in computing. 
  •    CS Principles Big Ideas – a workshop emphasizing the non-programming part of the new Computer Science Principles (CSP) course, especially the Data and Internet components. The sessions focus on hands on activities that support student mastery of the Big Ideas of Computer Science Principles.
  •    Two workshops at the STARS Celebration: App Inventor and Scratch 2.0.  Both of these workshops were hands-on with participants creating several projects and even extending the projects to incorporate their own ideas.

Through professional development workshops, ICE inspires teachers to find new and engaging ways of approaching computer science education.