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IUPUI grant to fund computer science workshops

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — The Indiana Department of Education has awarded a more than $1.5 million grant to the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI to offer workshops to train public high school and middle school teachers in Indiana. The university says the summer Computing by Design Teachers Training Program will be available to more than 300 Indiana teachers over the next two summers.

IUPUI says computer science coursework will be required by law to be offered in all Indiana schools beginning in the fall. School of Informatics faculty member Jim Lyst says the need is rising for professional development in computer science.

“At the same time, the unique context for every teacher and school demands an adaptable pathway to preparing successful coursework. This year, we are offering several workshop options for teachers to choose from, regardless of their background and experience in computer science,” Lyst said.

The program was launched in 2019 to prepare teachers to offer computer science classes at their schools, of which 112 teachers participated last year. 

The program includes: 

  • Six programming workshops (trivia, chatbot, robot, video game, internet of things and data visualization).
  • An innovation workshop.
  • A project-based-learning 101 workshop.
  • Six cross-discipline workshops with projects that blend computer science into business, language arts, math, art and more.

Standalone computer science activities, which are focused on kindergarten through grade 8, will be developed during the summer and next year to be made available online.