Infosys Foundation USA announced today that it will expand its signature Pathfinders Institute by adding its first ever winter offering. The Pathfinders Winter Institute will take place February 16-20, 2020 in Providence, RI and aims to attract 300 K-12 public school teachers from across the US.
Pathfinders launched in 2018 and in two years the Institute has trained nearly 1,000 K-12 public school teachers from across the country. This intensive, in-person training provides professional development in computer science (CS) and maker education.
“After two successful summers, we are thrilled to be able to expand our cutting-edge teacher training program,” said Kate Maloney, Executive Director, Infosys Foundation USA. “Rhode Island is a leader in K-12 computer science education and we are excited to bring Pathfinders to Providence to expand our reach to both local and national teachers who are inspired to bring the power of computer science and making to their classrooms.”
While 93% of parents want their child’s school to teach computer science, only 45% of high schools across the US teach the subject. And students from rural, low income or under-resourced communities are far less likely to be enrolled in schools with CS programs. The capacity to offer CS courses is often linked to the confidence and competence of teachers. Through the Pathfinders Institute, the Infosys Foundation USA hopes to build CS and maker education capabilities in teachers from diverse backgrounds and school environments in order to help all students have an equal opportunity to learn the skills that are necessary in the 21st century.
“We know that computer science skills are critical for graduates to thrive in our economy today and tomorrow,” said Governor of Rhode Island Gina M. Raimondo. “That’s why I launched CS4RI (Computer Science for Rhode Island) in 2016 to bring computer science to all public schools in Rhode Island. I’m thrilled to partner with the Infosys Foundation USA to further support our educators as they deepen their knowledge to teach our students this critical subject.”
The Foundation is partnering with 14 professional development providers that will provide a diverse course offering in CS and maker education for teacher attendees. Participating PDs include: Beauty and Joy of Computing, Chibitronics, Concord Consortium & Georgia Tech (Schools of Industrial Design and Interactive Computer), DevTech Research Group – Tufts University, Firia Labs, Georgia Tech CEISMC, KISS Institute for Practical Robotics, Maker Educator Collective, Mouse, National Center for Computer Science Education (NCCSE), Project Invent, Tynker, University of Rhode Island.
“The University of Rhode Island is proud to be one of the professional development training providers at the first Winter Pathfinders Institute. We will be delivering both computer science training for elementary school teachers and cyber security training for high school teachers, along with a really impressive array of other PD providers,” said Dr. Vic Fay-Wolfe, URI Professor of Computer Science and URI K-12 Computer Science Education lead. “Pathfinders has been one of the premier computer science education PD events in the country for several years - having it in RI, and URI being part of it, is really exciting!”
Applications for K-12 public school teachers are open today through December, 16 2019 on the Infosys Foundation USA website.
About Infosys Foundation USA:
Infosys Foundation USA was established in 2015 with the mission of expanding computer science (CS) and maker education to K-12 students and teachers across the United States. The Foundation achieves impact through delivering professional development programs for teachers, partnering with leading nonprofits, and delivering innovative media campaigns that raise awareness about the Foundation’s commitment to bridging the digital divide.