Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon professional development programs for K-12 Teachers include, but are not limited to:

Alice is an innovative block-based programming environment that makes it easy to create animations, build interactive narratives, or program simple games in 3D. Unlike many of the puzzle-based coding applications Alice motivates learning through creative exploration. Alice is designed to teach logical and computational thinking skills, fundamental principles of programming and to be a first exposure to object-oriented programming. The Alice Project provides supplemental tools and materials for teaching using Alice across a spectrum of ages and subject matter with proven benefits in engaging and retaining diverse and underserved groups in computer science education.  Alice is a free to download, innovative software tool that allows students who have never programmed before to easily create animations for telling stories, creating an interactive game, or making a video to share on the web.

Organized by members of CNAST, DNAZone is an educational outreach program focused on students in grades K-12. DNAZone attracts students to science by exposing them to modern and exciting, state-of-the art aspects of nucleic acids science. Through this program, CNAST hopes to foster students' interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) as well as cultivate an appreciation for collaboration and interdisciplinary work.   The program works to improve student engagement, attitudes and beliefs towards science through three distinct outreach endeavors:

  • Leading hands-on scientific demonstrations at university, community, or other local events
  • Providing professional development to Pittsburgh-area middle and high school science teachers
  • Loaning free resources such as materials and experiment lesson plans to 4th-12th grade science teachers through its Classroom Kit Lending Library

Since 2006 the Gelfand Center has created opportunities for middle and high school teachers of STEM subjects to meet with Carnegie Mellon facultly and students.  These workshops are held on Saturdays during the academi year or in the summer.  Teachers gain a broader understanding of what it means to conduct research and how research is integrated into the work of a scientist or engineer.  The format includes presentations, hands-on activities, tours of research facilities and panel discussions. Participants also learn about opportunities for middle and high school students to become engaged in research activities and how students can share their work through regional  competitions and programs. In many cases the Carnegie Mellon faculty members are hoping that teachers will help them to understand the connections between their research and content that is taught in schools. This information is frequently used to design broader impacts stratgies for National Science Foundation Proposals.

Contact Judy Hallinen, jh4p@andrew.cmu.edu for more information.

The SUCCEED Teacher Workshop is a 2-day program during which CMU faculty and students work with teachers to better understand how much they already know about climate/energy. Our goal is to help teachers incorporate these materials into their curriculum to address issues related to sustainable energy systems and climate change. The SUCCEED program is supported in part by the Leonard Gelfand Center and by the National Science Foundation.