Colorado teachers to learn video game programming with algebra at special CU-Boulder workshop

Middle and high school teachers from across the Front Range will learn how to teach key math concepts to their students while introducing them to video game programming during an April 21 workshop at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Emmanuel Schanzer of Harvard University will lead the workshop sponsored by CU-Boulder’s Department of Computer Science. Schanzer is the creator of Bootstrap, a computer programming tool that uses algebra to create images and animations.

Schanzer has taught students and trained teachers across the country, and many middle and high school teachers have implemented the Bootstrap curriculum as a one-month module, a weekly activity or an after-school program.

The all-day workshop is being offered free to Colorado teachers with support from the National Science Foundation and CU-Boulder.

More than 30 teachers have already registered for the workshop, representing school districts from Longmont to Pueblo, including Boulder and Saint Vrain Valley, Jefferson County, Woodland Park, Adams 12 and Douglas County schools.

CU-Boulder Professor Debra Goldberg, who leads another NSF grant that funds graduate students to introduce computer science in local schools, said that such outreach programs for teachers are critical for improving basic “literacy” in computer science.

“K-12 students have no experience in it, and computer science is integral to so many aspects of our society,” Goldberg said, giving as examples issues of privacy in social media and the advances occurring in genetics and biology.

In addition, “there are more jobs available in computer science than we have students to fill them,” she said. “The sooner students can get some experience in programming, the better off they’re going to be in the job market.”

Any Colorado teacher wishing to attend may contact Jessica Feld at jessica.feld@colorado.edu. For more information about Bootstrap visit http://www.bootstrapworld.org.

Contact:
Sriram Sankaranarayanan, computer science faculty, 303-492-6580
Debra Goldberg, computer science faculty, 303-492-9344
Carol Rowe, engineering communications, 303-492-7426

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