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Past Workshops and Webinars

Past Workshops and Webinars
We aim to run each workshop and webinar 3-4 times a year. If you have any questions or requests, please email



CS Discoveries Training
Dates: July 27, 2020 – July 31, 2020 (Note: This workshop is full)
Time: 8:30AM – 4:30 PM
Location: Virtual

Registration is open for CS Discoveries professional development workshops designed to prepare middle school and high school teachers to teach computer science. CS Discoveries is an introductory computer science course that empowers students to create authentic artifacts and engage with computer science as a medium for creativity, communication, problem solving, and fun. The curriculum is recommended for middle and high school students (grades 6-10) and can be taught either as a semester or full-year offering.

Given the precarious nature of COVID-19’s impact on school districts and daily functions, we are restructuring the CS Discoveries and/or CS Principles workshops (previously hosted at TCNJ STEM Center) to a blended-learning virtual online experience held July 27 – 31, 2020.

What does a blended-learning experience look like? Synchronous morning sessions of group activities and discussions followed by on-your-own-time activities and readings.

TCNJ will provide full-scholarships to all participants who enroll in CS Discoveries and CS Principles workshops this summer. This $1,500 professional learning program will come at no cost to enrolled teachers or their school/district. The program fee covers the year-long program including your teaching materials, workshop supplies, and 9 total days of professional development (5 days during the summer, and 4 days during the academic year).

The curriculum, online student learning platform, and access to support from the teacher and community are all provided free of charge.

To be eligible for the program, your application must show you:

  • Commit to participating in the full, year-long professional learning program
  • Plan to teach the course in the 2020-21 school year
  • For CS Discoveries, teach students between 6th and 10th grade
  • For CS Principles, teach students between 9th and 12th grade
  • Recommended: Have your school principal’s approval for all the above

Note: The virtual workshop requires live video conferencing. If you have questions about the technical requirements for the workshop, please contact your Regional Partner directly. CS Fundamentals
Location:  TCNJ in Ewing, NJ and Spotswood High School, Spotswood, NJ
CS Fundamentals is an introductory computer science course that requires no computer science background. Today’s students need to prepare for tomorrow’s careers. Computer science teaches critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. Integrate computer science in your classroom with our 20 hour course for beginners.
This fun, hands on curriculum blends online learning with unplugged, hands on activities. You will learn how to introduce computer science basics in a format that’s fun and accessible to the youngest learners.
Presenter: Paige Besthoff

Computer Science Workshop for Counselors and Administrators
Location: TCNJ in Ewing, NJ
All New Jersey high schools are now required to offer a computer science class. During this FREE workshop counselors and administrators will learn about highly successful computer science programs in New Jersey and why your school should offer computer science if you do not already do so. You will learn about an affordable one year professional learning program sponsored by that includes a full week summer workshop and quarterly in-person follow up sessions.  We will confirm your registration and provide additional information including travel and parking directions closer to the time.
Presenter: Henry Harms, Assistant Director of the Center for Excellence in STEM Education at The College of New Jersey and Partner Manager for New Jersey.

Computer Science in High School: How Every Student Can Benefit (2hrs)
Locations Offered:
Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, NJ
Target Audience:
Guidance Counselors and Administrators
Every 21st century student should have an opportunity to learn computer science. Computer science helps nurture creativity and problem-solving skills and prepares students for future success in any field. During this FREE workshop counselors and administrators will learn about highly successful computer science programs in New Jersey and why your schools should offer computer science courses if you do not already do so. You will learn about a free one professional development program sponsored by that includes a full week summer workshop, quarterly in-person follow up sessions and continued support through online modules.

Light refreshments were served.
John Hajdu, Project Coordinator of the Building CS Capacity in NJ project, Computer Science Teacher at Chatham High School in New Jersey
Henry Harms, Assistant Director of the Center for Excellence in STEM Education at The College of New Jersey and Partner Manager for New Jersey

Having Fun with Programming, Using Arduino in a High School or Middle School Makerspace Workshop (6hrs)
TCNJ in Ewing, NJ

The workshop covered how to utilize the Arduino Uno platform to teach programming and electronics at both the High School and Middle School levels.  Participants learned through hands-on activities and design-based projects.  Topics included: making and using sensors, motor control, audio circuits and basic robotics. All workshop attendees were entered into a drawing for a FREE Arduino Starter Kit! A light breakfast, and lunch were served.
Presenter: Michael Cappiello

Advanced Arduino
: TCNJ in Ewing, NJ

Ready for round two?  This advanced workshop will focus on controlling pretty much anything electrical with an Arduino.  Participants will engage on hands-on practical activities that will include some of the more advanced shields and break out boards that can be added to an Arduino for increased function.  The topics of Bluetooth, RFID, and IR control will be discussed and used in a variety of circuits that control both AC and DC products as well as pneumatic actuators. Participants will also design some homemade sensors that can be shared in the classroom with their students.  For anyone who does not have a Technology Education/Industrial Arts certification, we will be having an introductory, ONE hour safety lesson at the beginning of the workshop. Sample lessons and activities will be shared with the participants.

Presenter: Michael Cappiello

Integrating Computer Security Capture the Flag (CTF) Competitions in the High School Computer Science Classroom Workshop (6hrs)
Location: Drew University in Madison, NJ
Using picoCTF 2017, teachers were trained in several Computer Security skills including command line Linux, reverse engineering, penetration testing, encryption, decryption, and hacking. Practical hands on skills were emphasized with an additional focus on current ethical concerns in the Computer Security world as well as particular ethical concerns with teaching Computer Security in the modern day Computer Science classroom.
Presenter: Adam Michlin

Introduction to Workshop (6hrs)
TCNJ in Ewing, NJ
Explore and all it has to offer!  This workshop described the mission of and the curricula it offers for computer science courses for all age groups.  Additionally, we explored some of the many activities offered by and how they fit into the classroom. A light breakfast, and lunch were served.    
Presenter: Chiara Shah

Java Training Class (18hrs)
Location: TCNJ in Ewing, NJ
Interested in teaching  java, but have a limited background in programming?  This 3-day workshop covered the basics of teaching an introductory java course, covering content, and pedagogy.  Teaching materials and pacing for a year or semester long course were provided.
Presenter: John Hajdu

Mindstorm in the Classroom (6hrs)
Location: TCNJ in Ewing, NJ & Kean University in Union, NJ
Build your first Mindstorm EV3 simple machines and turn your classroom into a STEM lab. Take your students from gear ratios to shooting things with a fun and educational engineering tool. With these basic machines you can make an infinite variety of models. A light breakfast, and lunch were served.
Presenter: Graciela Elia

Python Unleashed Workshop (6hrs)
TCNJ in Ewing, NJ
Python is a popular programming language used to teach programming at six of the top ten computer science undergraduate programs in the United States. This workshop acts as an introduction to programming with Python. The workshop will cover the basics of imperative programming and ideas from selected areas of computer science, data science and education. We reviewed the basics of the language, discussed how it is used and taught and then spent the end of the day looking at some specialized uses such as video game creation and working with Minecraft.
Presenter: Lars Sorensen

Game Design with Python and Pygame
: TCNJ in Ewing, NJ

Utilizing the Python programming language, this course explores the Pygame library of tools in order to learn about video game design and to create small 2D video games.  We will review the basics of game design and learn about things like game loops, sprite sheets and a whole host of game design resources. Then we will get specific and use Python and Pygame to engage with topics such as drawing to the screen, animation, sound, collision detection and reacting to mouse and keyboard inputs.  By the end of the day you will have the basics of Pygame and game development in your toolboxes and will have a ton of new resources to do even more with games including bringing them into your classrooms to teach computer science topics.

Presenter: Lars Sorensen

Mobile Apps Development – From Consumers to Creators!! (6hrs)
Location: Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, NJ
This workshop was co-sponsored by the Building CS Capacity in NJ Project (TCNJ) and The STEM Institute of Education (FDU)
The workshop involves building fully functional apps for Android smartphones and tablets using MIT APP Inventor which  is an intuitive, visual programming environment that allows everyone to be able to build apps. The blocks based tools helps in creating complex apps in significantly less time than traditional programming environments. This enables people to move from technology consumption to technology creation. App Inventor could make programming enjoyable and accessible to novices, enabling students to develop computing skills and computational thinking. Also, this empowers kids and adults to create apps that makes a difference in their communities and many have already done so and continue to do.
Some features when using App Inventor:
  • Your app appears on the Android phone or tablet, step-by-step as you add pieces to it, so you can test your work as you build.
  • If you don’t have an Android phone or tablet, you can build your apps using the Android emulator, software that runs on your computer and behaves just like a phone.
  • When you’re done, you can package your app and produce a stand-alone application to install.

Presenters: Rama Madhavarao and Dr. Neelu Sinha

Computer Science Discoveries:’s Free Middle School CS Curriculum (6hrs)
Location: TCNJ, Ewing, NJ
Need a middle school computer science curriculum but don’t know where to start? Start here!’s Computer Science Discoveries is a full-year (or semester-long) introductory computer science course that is engaging, fun, and free! Join us for a full day of hands-on exploration as we navigate through the course philosophy, the website, assessment opportunities, and the six units of study.
Presenter: Gary Hull

Computer Science Principles:’s Free High School CS Curriculum (6hrs)
Location: TCNJ, Ewing, NJ
This workshop will introduce attendees to‘s Computer Science Principles Curriculum. This user friendly curriculum was created for teachers to use whether they are planning to teach the course as an Advanced Placement Course or Introductory to CS Course. Teachers will learn about‘s CS philosophy and how it is reflected in the curriculum. They will explore the Curriculum’s 5 Units as well as gain hands-on experience using the different technology tools that are implemented throughout each unit. Whether novice or experienced CS teachers, attendees will leave this workshop confident in bringing Computer Science Principles to their classroom. **This workshop will be a primer on how to implement‘s CSP Curriculum. There will be future workshops and opportunities for attendees that want to delve deeper in the curriculum and join an active community of Curriculum users.
Presenter: Adam Swift

AP CS-A: Preparing for the AP Exam
Location: TCNJ, Ewing, NJ (half-day workshop)
Taking the AP Computer Science A test is challenging, and as good teachers we want to make sure our students are as prepared for it as they can be. This workshop is designed for new teachers to AP Computer Science A, and will discuss methods for preparing the students for the multiple choice and open ended portions of the test.   We will also be reviewing grading rubrics and released tests; CollegeBoard’s website and reports are useful tools at our disposal as well – don’t forget your password!

Presenter: Richard Bell

High and Low Level C Programming for the Java Teacher (6hrs)
Location: TCNJ, Ewing, NJ
Interested in material to prepare your students to learn Java? Interested in material to teach your students post AP CS A? Interested in a better understanding of how computer languages and architectures work? This one day course will cover intermediate C programming designed to prepare students for Java and advanced (pointer) based C designed for post AP CS A teaching all in a completely platform independent (even ChromeBooks are welcome!) fashion.
Presenter: Adam Michlin

Designing Applets Using Alice
Location: TCNJ, Ewing, NJ & Kean University in Union, NJ

Alice is used by teachers at all levels from middle schools to universities, in school classrooms and in after school and out of school programming, and in subjects ranging from visual arts and language arts to the fundamentals of programming and introduction to java courses. Alice is a 3D, block-based programming environment. Students will create animations, build interactive narratives, and program simple games in this environment. The student will learn fundamental principles of programming including objects and classes, control structures, event handling, and passing data. Logical and computational thinking flow naturally into the creative explorations and exercises. Finally, a custom designed applet showcases the students’ work and provides a touchstone for concepts learned and understood.
Presenter: Karen Sullivan

Arcade Game Challenge: Creativity, Problem Solving and Design with Scratch and MakeyMakey
Location: TCNJ, Ewing, NJ & Kean University in Union, NJ

The focus of this class will be exploring how physical computing can ignite creativity and design.  After watching the video, Cain’s Arcade, teachers will be challenged to go beyond the keyboard and mouse to create unique inputs with the MakeyMakey printed circuit board for their own Scratch arcade game.  Simple supplies like cardboard boxes, aluminum foil, play-doh and other household items will be provided along with the MakeyMakey boards. Teachers will use the design and problem solving process to define an arcade game they would like to build, research Scratch code that might be useful, come up with some sketches, prototype inputs with the MakeyMakey and then develop their solution using the supplies.  The last 30 minutes, teachers will “play” with each other’s games and celebrate our success.  Note: While we are investigating various arcade type games, teachers will be introduced to Scratch as a simple yet powerful programing language that can successfully be used to teach the basics of computer science like events, loops, conditional statements, variables and more. Teacher’s Scratch coding skills will be developed and challenged during this class.

 – Hardware requirements: Participants must bring a laptop with a USB port to attach the MakeyMakey

– Software requirements:  No software needs to be downloaded prior to the class.  We will be using Scratch 2.0, web based version, accessible via an internet connected computer.  A Scratch account would be helpful for saving projects developed during the class for future reference.  A free Scratch account can be created at

 – Background necessary: a basic understanding of Scratch would be helpful but not required.

Presenter: Roseanna Misuraca

Physical Computing with BBC micro:bit
: TCNJ in Ewing, NJ

This one-day professional development course is intended to introduce Middle through High School teachers to physical computing with the BBC micro:bit, a popular microcontroller for computer science and STEM education.  The micro:bit is an inexpensive and excellent hardware platform for teaching the fundamentals of programming, digital and analog electronics and physical computing. The course will include both circuit construction and programming activities, with circuits constructed on a solderless breadboard. To make programming more accessible to those with limited experience, most programs will be written as a group activity guided by the instructor.

In addition to teaching the technical aspects of using the micro:bit for physical computing, the course will include guidance on creating and distributing circuit diagrams, avoiding common errors in circuit construction, and setting up an effective system for storing and sharing program files.

Presenter: Jeff Beck

POGIL: Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning
: TCNJ in Ewing, NJ

Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) is an evidence-based pedagogy that encourages students to construct their own knowledge and develop lifelong learning skills. In a POGIL classroom, students work in self-managed teams through a learning cycle of exploration, concept invention, and application. The instructor facilitates the process, creates opportunities for teams to report out, and offers additional guidance as needed. This workshop will explore the fundamentals of POGIL, discuss how the activities are structured, provide guidance on implementing activities, and include opportunities to practice classroom facilitation techniques. See for more information, upcoming regional workshops, curriculum materials, and other instructional resources.

Presenter: Cliff Kussmaul

Unity: An exciting new game development platform
: Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville, NJ & TCNJ in Ewing, NJ

This workshop proposes to immerse you in a series of activities so that you can learn the value of Unity through direct experience. When you complete this workshop, you will know how to create a fully functioning game in Unity that can be shared with others. Participants will be able to:

  • Set up a Game in Unity
  • Create basic objects in Unity
  • Manipulate the Unity Camera within the game
  • Setting up the Unity work area
  • Coding in C# and using the Unity scripting editor
  • Building a final Unity game to be played on a desktop computer

Presenter: Suzanna McGee

Fundamentals of Java(3-days)
Location: Kean University in Union, NJ

Interested in teaching java, but concerned about a limited background in programming? This workshop will cover the basics of teaching an introductory java course covering content and pedagogy for teachers with little or no background in programming. Teaching materials and pacing for a year or semester long course will be provided. This workshop ran for 3 days, starting at 9:30 and ending at 3:30 each day.

Day 1: Working with the Eclipse IDE, Karel J Robot (basics of writing programs)

Day 2: Working with the console, variables, data types and the String class, flow of control and logic

Day 3: Working with error handling and file access, arrays and graphics (building games)

Presenter: John Hajdu

Scratch Programming, Introductory Coding for Beginners
Location: TCNJ in Ewing, NJ

Interested in learning computer programming but not sure where to start? This course offers an introduction to computer programming through the use of Scratch. Scratch is a block based programming platform that teaches computational thinking as well as computer programming concepts that can be later translated into any programming language. Scratch offers a wide variety of applications for Middle School or Elementary level students including video game and animation projects. No previous coding experience necessary.

Presenter: Jess Liatys



Administrator Session: NJ Policy and How to Get a CS Program Started (1hr)
Several recently passed bills in NJ legislature affect computer science education in New Jersey schools. Participants heard about the impact these bills, as well as suggestions for starting a high school computer science program from scratch. The facilitators engaged participants in discussion about their district’s’ plans for CS expansion and gathered feedback about how the Building CS in NJ project might help. This presentation was geared toward administration but all were welcome.
Facilitators: Daryl Detrick and John Hajdu

AP CSP: Thoughts from an AP Grader Webinar (1 hr)
With every new AP class comes a lot of questions about what the test will really focus on and how to best prepare our students. Take part in this webinar to hear firsthand from a CSP teacher who served as an AP grader for the first round of AP CSP exams. Participants could bring any questions they have and gain some clarification and reassurance.

Facilitator: Chiara Shah

Computational Thinking in the Math Classroom Webinar (1hr)
Computational Thinking is a term often thrown around in the Computer Science classrooms, but the ideas founded in its roots have a home in many different disciplines.  Participants were led in a discussion on how the math classroom can be enhanced by infusing algorithmic processes and projects to build logical analytical math skills. Sample projects for Algebra II, Geometry, and more were shared.
Facilitator: Richard Bell

Logical, Algorithmic Thinking Webinar (1hr)
At the foundation of all computer science is the ability to think logically, be creative and solve problems.  These skills, however, are not only important to those who pursue computer science but rather every field one could choose to study.  This webinar covered how to implement logic problems and puzzles into your curriculum. It discussed the value of logic problems in enhancing students’ algorithmic thinking and problem solving skills. Participants were provided examples of different logic problems that they could use in their classroom from simple ice breaker activities to activities that could last the whole class period. Recording
Facilitator: Adam Swift

Resources to Teach Number Systems: Binary, Octal, Hexadecimal (1hr)
Are you a computer science or math educator looking for fresh ideas to teach binary numbers?  Do you find students completing worksheet after worksheet on numbers systems, only to discover later they never really understood the concept?  This one hour webinar presented tips and ideas for using active learning strategies to teach these fundamental topics. Presentation was targeted to middle and high school CS and math teachers, but all educators were welcome to attend.
Facilitator: Claudette Guy

Running a CS/STEAM Summer Camp Webinar (1hr)
Demand for computer science/STEAM camps during the summer months is higher than ever.  This webinar will walk you through the process that a high school Physics teacher and Computer Science teacher used to plan and execute their first-ever summer camp.  Lessons learned, budget, staffing needs, timelines, topics, and technologies will be discussed.
Facilitator: Gary Hull

Tips and Strategies for Teaching Introductory Computer Science (1hr)
Participants explored educator-tested strategies for teaching an Introductory Computer Science class. This one-hour webinar presented active-learning activities for teaching fundamental coding concepts and useful tips for new CS teachers. The presentation was targeted to middle and early high school CS teachers, but all educators were welcome to attend.
Facilitator: Claudette Guy

2016 Webinars

NOTE: Teachers who attend an online webinar and complete a brief follow-up survey will receive a certificate for 1 hour of Professional Development. Webinars will be recorded and archived, so if you are unable to attend at the scheduled time you may view the recording at any time (but will not receive a PD certificate).

For further questions, please contact John Hajdu, Project Manager, at