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CIS Hosts Workshop to Increase Computer Science Concepts in Grades 7-12

CIS Hosts Workshop to Increase Computer Science Concepts in Grades 7-12

Posted: June 21, 2018

Approximately 50 math, science, technology, and computer science middle- and high school-teachers from 35 area schools will gather in Buffalo State’s Technology Building June 25–28 for the seventh annual Computer Science for High School (CS4HS) workshop.

Hosted by the Computer Information Systems (CIS) Department and sponsored by a grant from Google, CS4HS is a free, hands-on workshop. The goal is for participating teachers to introduce more computer science concepts into their classrooms.

“Also, we encourage schools to add computer science courses to the curriculum and start computer clubs to get students interested in the subject early on,” said Neal Mazur, associate professor, chair of CIS and one of the CS4HS organizers.

The teachers, some of whom have attended workshops in the past, represent public and private schools throughout Erie, Niagara, Monroe, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua counties. They range from high-needs city schools to affluent suburban and private schools to schools in rural communities.

“Through word of mouth, we’ve been able to expand our reach of participating schools. We’re excited to have such a diverse group of schools represented,” said Sarbani Banerjee, CIS professor who helped found CS4HS at Buffalo State. “We believe that helping teachers find fun ways to engage students in computer science will result in more computer science college majors, and ultimately, more professionals in a field full of opportunities.”

Over the four days, CIS faculty will provide an overview of computer programming and web design and offer problem-solving exercises to participants. They also will share new approaches to teaching two high school courses: Exploring Computer Science and Advance Placement (AP) Computer Science Principles. Teachers will obtain a certificate for 30 hours of Continuing Teacher and Leader Education.

Since CS4HS began, many teachers have gone up to introduce AP computer science courses and establish computer clubs in their schools, Banerjee said. In addition, numerous students from the participating teachers’ schools have attended the annual CS4HS Showcase and Competition event to present their computer projects. During the sixth annual showcase June 2, more than 180 participants came to campus, including teachers, students, and their parents.

To make the CS4HS workshop possible, CIS faculty members applied for and received funding from Google. Since its inception, Google has provided more than $100,000 to Buffalo State for the workshop attended by more 150 teachers.

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