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CIS Hosts Free Computer Science Workshop for Area Secondary Teachers

CIS Hosts Free Computer Science Workshop for Area Secondary Teachers

Posted: July 8, 2019

Western New York secondary teachers have the opportunity to learn the best approaches to integrating computer concepts into their classrooms through a free workshop Buffalo State is offering July 9–12.

For the eighth consecutive year, Computer Information Systems (CIS) Department faculty are providing the hands-on Computer Science for High School (CS4HS) workshop to approximately 33 math, science, technology, and computer science high school teachers and two middle school teachers. An ongoing Google grant made the workshop possible.

The goal is to have more teachers introduce basic and advanced computer science concepts into their classrooms, as well for more schools to offer standalone computer science courses. Participants will be provided with books, educational materials, and a certificate for 30 hours of Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) credits.

“We do this as a professional service to the community and know that teachers really appreciate it,” said Sarbani Banerjee, professor of CIS and one of the CS4HS organizers. “Each year, more Western New York schools get involved. Some teachers have not only worked with their schools to offer computer science courses, they’ve also started computer clubs in their schools.”

Over the four days, five CIS faculty members and several students will provide an overview of computer programming, web design, and gaming design to participants. They also will share new approaches to two advanced placement (AP) courses: Computer Science Principles and Computer Science A (Java).

“Most of the teachers keep relationships with us; some return from previous years to get additional training,” said Neal Mazur, chair and associate professor of CIS. “And the event builds a community for teachers to get to know one another.”

A new Google-sponsored event, CS4ALL Principals’ Summit, which Buffalo State hosted in April 2018, inspired more administrators to add computer sciences courses in their schools. In New York state, high school students can take a computer science class to meet a math or science requirement.

“The end goal is for all high schools in Western New York to teach computer science courses or have some computer science presence,” Banerjee said. “The more classes they offer, the more likely students will choose a computer science profession in the future.”

Since CS4HS began, Google has provided more than $100,000 in funding to CIS for the annual workshop and more than 190 teachers have participated.

For more information, visit the CS4HS website.

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