NJIT Offers Summer Courses for Teachers to Comply with New NJ Computer Science Law

Photo: Gale Spak, NJIT Photo Credit: Esther Surden
Gale Spak, NJIT | Esther Surden

New Jersey Institute of Technology is offering three professional development courses aimed at STEM teachers this summer.

“We’re offering two different ways that STEM teachers can get a jump start in complying with the new law in New Jersey, which requires every high school in this state to teach computer science,” said Gale T. Spak, associate vice president for continuing and distance education at NJIT. Also being offered is a 3-D printing course.

Spak was referring to P.L. 2017, Chapter 303, signed into law on January 16. This law requires each public school enrolling students in grades nine through 12 (excluding county vocational schools) to offer a course in computer science beginning in the 2018-2019 school year.

The law states that the course must include, but need not be limited to, instruction in computational thinking, computer programming, the appropriate uses of the internet, development of web pages, data security and the prevention of data breaches, ethical matters in computer science, and the global impact of advancements in computer science.

The first course to be offered is a seven-week program taught at NJIT, and the second is a fully immersive two-week “very intense” boot camp taught fully online, Spak said. The third course will give teachers hands-on experience in 3D printing at NJIT’s new industrial makerspace.

The seven-week course, Introduction to Computing for High School Teachers, will be classroom-based and instructor-led, and will delve deeply into programming, computational thinking and problem solving using Python. Teachers will also learn strategies for problem solving, as well as constructs for program execution, data types, databases and networks.

The two-week course, Coding Basics & Front End Fundamentals Boot Camp, will help teachers learn new techniques and exercises for teaching students software and security. Teachers will learn to code from scratch in HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and will learn about source control. They will also develop a command of advanced tools in jQuery, AJAX, Flexbox and Bootstrap. This is a self-paced online course, with instructor and mentor assistance.

Teachers electing the third course will get to use the resources of NJIT’s 10,000-square-foot  makerspace. They will gain hands-on experience with 3D industry tools and equipment, and will learn practical applications for their classrooms. The course will also show teachers how to add 3D printing to their schools’ STEM curricula.

For more information visit: https://continuing.njit.edu/sites/continuing/files/TSP.pdf.

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