If you're in Sydney Wednesday August 5th and interested in STEM, please join us at the MAAS Powerhouse Museum for a FREE Seminar and Workshop with Picademy's Carrie Anne Philbin and Nicky Ringland of Grok Learning & NCSS!
Carrie Anne is responsible for Picademy, the Raspberry Pi Foundation's free professional development experience for primary and secondary teachers, open to individuals around the world.
She also produces the Geek Girl Diaries, tweets a lot, wrote the popular book Adventures in Raspberry Pi and is the key educational evangelist for the Raspberry Pi Foundation in the UK.
When we heard Carrie Anne was planning a trip down-under for PyCon 2015 we took the opportunity to invite her to particpate in this seminar and workshop for teachers and educators here in Sydney.
Carrie Anne will present a review of the Raspberry Pi Foundation's experiences creating and delivering Picademy continuing professional development workshops for teachers in the UK. After the seminar she will run a Picademy STEM workshop for teachers using Raspberry Pi and Pimoroni's Explorer HAT.
Nicky is one of the founders of Grok Learning, an educational startup teaching the world to code.
A serial volunteer, Nicky is also an Outreach Officer for the National Computer Science School, an initiative of the University of Sydney, and runs outreach activities (workshops, camps and competitions) to inspire and educate high school students and teachers in computer science.
Like Carrie Anne, Nicky is also passionate about engaging girls in STEM and programming and was instrumental in the establishment of the Girls' Programming Network as part of NCSS.
The host for this event is the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences and their digital learning center, ThinkSpace.
Thinkspace offers learn by making workshops in applied arts and sciences with holiday programs designed for school children, families, teachers, professionals and people with a disability.
The learning experiences offered are engaging, interactive and 100% hands-on. They provide excellent examples of project based learning in action.
Like Carrie Anne and Nicky, Thinkspace recognise that in STEM and especially computing, boys outnumber girls roughly 4:1. They offer workshops Just For Girls as part of their commitment to providing workshop that are accessible to the widest possible audiences.
The capacity for these free events is limited so bookings are essential.
At midday Carrie Anne and Nicky will present a Keynote Seminar and in the early evening Carrie Anne will present a Picademy Workshop with Raspberry Pi.
It will be a hands-on experience demonstrating Picademy's approach to teacher professional development with insights into ways teachers can model classroom practice around physical computing and project based learning.
Staff from BitScope and Cyclearn as well as helpers from OzBerry Pi and Coding Oz will be on hand to assist participants new to Raspberry Pi.
Also on hand will be element14 who are providing some of the Raspberry Pi and related accessories for this seminar.
We will be making available some new Raspberry Pi based BitScope Blade Servers which we exhibited at the Hannover Maker Faire recently.
We here at BitScope are keen to see priority given to the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (aka STEM) in school education. Our friends at MAAS ThinkSpace and Raspberry Pi in the UK have similar goals.
For those new to physical computing with Raspberry Pi and especially its use in education, element14 have created this easy to read explanatory brochure.
More teachers are beginning to understand the importance of coding skills as part of a modern education. Indeed, organisations such as code.org have long advocated for a stronger emphasis on computer science in schools.
However, our view is that the need is broader than coding skills alone.
Changes being implemented in the school curriculum in Australia and elsewhere are designed to address challenges today's students will face as adults a world dominated by myriad technologies.
To participate fully in this modern society students need to develop analytical skills and think systemically to develop scalable solutions to sometimes complex problems.
Physical computing and STEM disciplines are at the forefront of these changes.
Key to the success of adapting education to meet these challenges is on-going teacher professional development.
Educators need to be well equipped with the new skills required to enhance their teaching practice and improve student outcomes, not just in computing, coding & STEM but in all key learning areas.
The aim of this event is to introduce participants to some the key ideas drawn from the experience of both speakers who have been working and advocating for these changes here in Australia and in the UK.
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