Coding & STEM 4 Schools | CS4S

About

The University of Newcastle Coding & STEM 4 Schools (CS4S) team provides professional learning opportunities for, and conducts research into, the teaching and learning of Coding & STEM in primary and secondary schools. The focus areas of the professional learning opportunities and research run by the CS4S team are:

  • The implementation of the Digital Technologies learning area of the national Australian Curriculum
  • Teaching Coding and Computational Thinking in K-12
  • Integrating Coding and Computational Thinking with different K-12 subjects (such as Mathematics)

To keep up to date with the professional learning opportunities being offered by the CS4S team, please register for the University of Newcastle CS4S Mailing List. If you have any enquiries about the CS4S professional learning programs or research, please contact Daniel Hickmott.

2019 Coding & STEM Workshops

In 2019, the Newcastle CS4S team will run four different professional learning programs, free for teachers to attend, at the University of Newcastle’s Callaghan campus. These programs will be accredited with the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA). The four programs that will be run are the:

  • Coding & STEAM Program (to be run as weekly tutorials in weeks 2–9 of Term 3)
  • Introduction to Coding and Computational Thinking Workshop (planned for school holidays between Terms 3 and 4)
  • AI/VR Workshop (planned for November/December)
  • Developing Coding Hubs for Teachers Workshop (planned for November/December)

For more information about each of the programs, please see the Program Detailssection below.

For some quick guidance about which of the programs you would be suited to attend, see the Which Program/s Should I Participate in? section below.

All of the programs are focused on developing competencies included in the Digital Technologies learning area of the national Australian Curriculum and the capabilities outlined in the NSW Coding and Computational Thinking Across the Curriculum Guide. The CS4S workshops have been developed in partnership with Google.

We have not opened registration for any of the programs yet, but you can express your interest in the programs you would like to participate in by completing this form here. Once we confirm dates and open up registration for the different programs, we will send out this information to those that have responded to the expression of interest form first.

If you have any questions about the 2019 CS4S workshops, please contact Daniel Hickmott.

Which Program/s Should I Participate in?

The details of each program are explained in the Program Detailssection below, but we have also included a quick explanation of the programs we recommend that you attend here.

  • If you are completely new to Coding or are just beginning to learn Coding, we recommend that you attend the Introductory Workshop
  • If you are teaching Stage 3 classes (including RFF, as a STEM specialist, or as a teacher-librarian) and you are planning to teach Coding with Scratch, we recommend that you attend the Coding & STEAMprogram. This program is for teachers with all levels of experience teaching Coding
  • If you are looking for project ideas that cover outcomes related to Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Virtual Reality (VR) in the changing Information and Software Technology and Software Design and Development syllabuses, or would like to learn about projects that could extend your high-achieving students, we recommend that you attend one or both of the AI/VR workshops
  • If you have attended one of our programs before or have a few years of experience teaching Coding and Computational Thinking already, and would like to learn about the approaches you can use for sharing your expertise with your peers, we recommend that you participate in the Developing Coding Hubs for Teachers short course

You are welcome to express your interest in multiple programs in the year. For example, you could participate in the Coding & STEAM program or Introductory workshop to familiarise yourself with Coding and Computational Thinking, and then, later in the year, participate in the Developing Coding Hubs for Teachers workshop to learn more about spreading this knowledge with your colleagues.

Program Details

To find out more about each of the 2019 CS4S programs, click the headings below. In each section below there is also a link to the form where you can express your interest in participating in the programs.

If you are a primary school teacher and you would like to learn how to teach Computational Thinking and Coding across different Key Learning Areas, then this program is for you. This program focuses on using Scratch 3 for teaching Coding, but the program will also include some opportunities to learn about other Coding languages and tools, such as Microbits.

This program is best suited for teachers of Stage 3 classes that are implementing the new Science and Technology K-6 syllabus. However, the program is open to all primary school staff, including but not limited to RFF teachers, STEM specialists and teacher-librarians. The program’s activities come from the Creative Computing Curriculum Guide and these activities can be easily adapted for varying levels of Coding experience. We have mapped the activities to outcomes of different K-6 Key Learning Areas (including Creative Arts, English and Mathematics), as well as the relevant AITSL Teacher Standards, ACARA General Capabilities and ACARA Digital Technologies content descriptors.

The Coding & STEAM program will run over 8 weeks during Term 3 of 2019 (Weeks 2 – 9). The program will involve weekly after-school 2-hour tutorial session at the University of Newcastle’s Callaghan campus and a weekly homework task that should each take around 1-2 hours to complete. The program will be accredited with NESA for 32 hours for the following teaching standards at the Proficient level: 2.1.2, 2.6.2, 3.3.2, 3.4.2, 4.5.2, 6.2.2 and 6.4.2.

We are currently gauging interest for the program and are yet to decide which day of the school week we will run the weekly tutorial sessions on. We are likely to run the tutorial sessions from 4:30pm – 6:30pm at a computer lab in the University of Newcastle’s Callaghan campus. You can express your interest in participating in the Coding & STEAM program by completing this form and we will be in contact with more information once we have decided on the day that we run the program on and we have confirmed the venue for the tutorial sessions.

If you would like some help getting started learning and teaching Coding and Computational Thinking, then this workshop is for you. This workshop’s content will be most useful for teachers that are beginning to teach concepts in the Digital Technologies strand of the new Science and Technology K-6 syllabus and Digital Technologies context of the new Technology Mandatory Years 7-8 syllabus. However, Primary and High School educators that teach any Stage in K-12, and with any amount of experience teaching Coding and Computational Thinking,are welcome to attend this workshop.

The workshop’s activities will be very practical and mainly involve using Scratch, which is a free visual programming language that is commonly used for teaching Coding and Computational Thinking at all levels of K-12. However, the concepts that will be taught during the workshop (for example: algorithms, sequencing,branchingand iteration) are essential Computational Thinking concepts that are in the Technology Mandatory and Science and Technology syllabuses, and these concepts will be applicable to all Coding languages.

This workshop will emphasise Coding and Computational Thinking as skills that can help you address ACARA’s General Capabilities, including Critical and Creative Thinking. Free teaching resources that are focused on problem-solving and creativity in Scratch, such as the Creative Computing curriculum guide, will be shared throughout the workshop.

The workshop will also include several activities that integrate Coding and Computational Thinking with a variety of Key Learning Areas, such as Science and Mathematics. These activities will utilise and expand on many of the resources and suggestions in the NSW Education Standard Authority’s (NESA) Coding Across the Curriculum Guide. This workshop will be run over two days at the University of Newcastle’s Callaghan campus and will be accredited with NESA for 12 hours for the following teaching standards at the Proficient level: 2.1, 2.6, 3.3, 3.4, 4.5, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 6.2 and 6.4.

Sessions in this workshop will include:

  • A session that involves activities that can be used to teach Computational Thinking without using a computer (unplugged activities)
  • An overview of different beginner-friendly languages and resources to help students move from blocks languages (e.g. Scratch) to text languages (e.g. Python)
  • Hands-on activities with Microbits and Makey Makeys, where you will learn about Physical Computing

We are planning to run this workshop in the school holidays between Terms 3 and 4 (in late September or early October). Registration has not opened for this workshop yet, but you can express your interest in participating in the workshop by completing this form.

If you are currently teaching Coding and Computational Thinking at your school and would like to run your own professional learning events to share your knowledge with your peers, then this workshop is for you. In this workshop, we will help you gather resources and organise Digital Technologies professional learning for other teachers at your school and/or in the professional learning communities you are part of.

This workshop will involve the sharing of existing resources, such as the PL-in-a-Box materials, that can be used in, and adapted for, your own professional learning events. There will also be presentations from professional learning organisers that can help you organise your own events, as well as activities in which you will plan and gather resources for these events, with assistance from the CS4S team.

This workshop will be run over two days at the University of Newcastle’s Callaghan campus but you will also have the option to complete one of the workshop days online. The workshop will be accredited with NESA for 10 hours for the following teaching standards, at the Proficient level: 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.6, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.6, 4.5, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4 and 7.4

Registration has not opened for this workshop yet, but you can express your interest in participating in the workshop by completing this form.

If you are preparing to teach Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality within the Years 7-10 Information and Software Technology syllabus or Years 11-12 Software Design and Development syllabus, or you are a primary or high school teacher looking for project ideas to extend your high-achieving students, then these workshops are for you. You will have the option to choose to either attend both workshops or, if you are particularly interested in only one of the topic, to attend only one of the workshops.

We are still planning content and dates for the workshops, but we intend to run each workshop over one day, most likely on school days during Term 4. The workshops will be very practical and will involve completing a project that addresses outcomes from the new topic areas in the syllabus that is set to replace the Years 7–10 Information and Software Technology syllabus. We are planning to create examples of AI and VR projects that are accessible for a variety of students’ skill levels and that can be completed using free/low-cost hardware and software.

Registration has not opened for these workshops yet, but you can express your interest in participating in the workshops and suggest any other areas you would like to see us cover in the workshops by completing this form.

People

Dr Elena Prieto

School of Education
Program Convenor Bachelor of Teaching (Mathematics)
Deputy Program Convenor Master of Educational Studies (Maths cohort)
Elena.Prieto@newcastle.edu.au


Associate Professor Regina Berretta

School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Head of Computer Science and Software Engineering Discipline
Researcher at the Priority Research Centre for Bioinformatics, Biomarker Discovery and Information Based Medicine
Regina.Berretta@newcastle.edu.au


Mr Andrew Lyell

School of Education
Deputy Program Convenor Bachelor of Teaching (Technology)
Andrew.Lyell@newcastle.edu.au


Mr Daniel Hickmott

CS4S Project Officer
Daniel.Hickmott@uon.edu.au