Computer Science for Diverse Learners: Creative Approaches to Achieving CS Standards Using Arduino Microcontrollers and Physical Computing


Location:  Paul Allen Center for Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington

Date:  October 26, 2019

Time:  1:00-4:00 PM

Cost:  Free

Clock Hours:  3 STEM (paid for by PSCSTA)

This hands-on workshop is open to Technology and Computer Science teachers of all abilities, grades 6-12.  Participants will use Arduino based microcontrollers and software to build and code interactive physical computing systems (sensors, lights, motors, sound).  Focus will be on how creative approaches to CS can help interest a wider range of students and achieve state standards for Computer Science. Examples will show how microcontrollers are being integrated into Art and Design classes and how physical computing can add light, motion, and interactivity to projects.  Participants will need to provide a laptop running the Arduino IDE. All other materials will be provided.    


Chad Norman and Terri Sligar are teachers in the Mount Vernon School District, each with over 20 years of experience.  Their instruction focuses on fostering understanding of Computer Science through engaging and creative projects. Currently, they are working to develop progressive methods for teaching coding and engineering concepts using Arduino based microcontrollers.  They have presented workshops and exhibits on this topic at multiple Northwest Council for Computers in Education (NCCE) conferences, Stanford University Graduate School of Education (Fablearn), Bay Area Maker Faire, Linuxfest, and ESD 189. Currently, one of their interactive physical computing projects, Magic Mandala, is on exhibit at the Pacific Science Center’s, “What is Reality” pavillion. 

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