Six Lamar University undergraduate computer science students are taking on the role of teacher as they lead a workshop to introduce area K-12 school teachers to fundamental computing concepts and help the teachers develop curriculum materials for the coming year.

“We have computer technology students teaching the workshops,” said Jane Liu, LU associate professor of computer science and workshop coordinator.  “The local school teachers learn from university students, which helps get the latest technology to the teachers’ classrooms and also reinforces the Lamar students’ skills.”

The workshop targets teachers who teach computer science, science, technology and math.  It is designed to introduce teachers from across Southeast Texas to fundamental teaching concepts in computer, technology, math and science at all K-12 levels, to expose students to computing at an early age to reach more potential computer science students, as well as to help them use App Inventor, a mobile application creation platform.  App Inventor is a widely available teaching tool that allows students to learn fundamental programming concepts.  During the workshop, teachers develop curriculum materials for the subjects they will teach with the help of workshop tutors.

Lamar University undergraduates Phillip Potter, Silsbee, and Michael Singleton, Groves, developed the workshop as well as teaching.  Other LU student tutors are Zebulun Barnett, Lumberton; Ethan Hasson, Winnie; David Hemmenway, Beaumont; Billy Joe Newman, Jasper and Matthew Williamson, Hardin.

Teachers participating in the workshop are Christy Gibson of Kirbyville Elementary School; Misty Gibson and Jeanette Conner, Evadale Elementary and Junior High School; Kelly Ketcher, Janet Sennet and Jewel Wycoff, Fehl Price Elementary, Beaumont; Kenneth Daigre, Memorial 9th Grade Academy, Port Arthur; Ellen Zimmerman, Hardin-Jefferson High School; Arlette Deal, Abraham Lincoln Middle School, Port Arthur; Catherine Bower, Buna High School; Alice Patterson, Charlton Pollard Elementary School, Beaumont; Alecia Boling, Martin Elementary School, Beaumont; Katherine Whitney, Central Middle School, Nederland and Delcie Thomas, Odom Academy Middle School, Beaumont.

The workshop is sponsored by the LU Department of Computer Science and the National Science Foundation.  Students leading the sessions are undergraduate research assistants with Liu’s High Performance Computing Lab (HPCL) and STAIRSTEP programs.  Both programs are funded by NSF to increase the number of students graduating in computer science and related fields.  This workshop will be offered each summer through 2014.