My association with the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge covers more than 10 years. The Challenge has depended upon funding from many sources over the years, sometimes just making the budget has been a struggle. This year, with New Mexcio educator pressure, national attention from the “Hour of Code”, and requests from the programming/science community, the state legislature put aside funds for the Challenge, (although this is not the first time – it has been some time since the state funds have been available). One result of this is increased funding for STI, (Summer Teacher Institute), the yearly summer training for teachers interested in creating teams for next years competition.
At STI, teachers learn the basics of modeling using StarLogo, a programming language similar to Scratch, (but working in a 3-D environment with advanced reporting tools), and NetLogo for more advanced programming. Many teachers in elementary and middle schools also attend as an introduction to Project Guts, an after school programming club that uses the challenge principals to teach younger students programming and modeling with Science and Math.
Hopefully, I will be able to be one of the trainers for this summer’s STI, it is a lot of fun helping educators learn more about programming and the possibilities of integration into the curriculum. This year’s STI information is available by downloading the 2014 STI pdf. SUMMER TEACHER INSTITUTE14.3.30
Note: Have been asked if teachers from other states can come – you would have to email Celia, (see pdf), to ask -probably have to pay your own way if there is room.