FETC 2020: ‘The Computer Science Firehose’

A special event for instructors and providers seeking to follow successful strategies and trends in computer science education featured an unrestricted flow of presentations and data out of one huge nozzle
By: | January 14, 2020

Among the more than 600 learning opportunities at FETC® 2020 in Miami was the special session known as “The Computer Science Firehose.” Held on Tuesday, January 14, the event was an informal gathering of instructors and providers seeking to follow successful strategies and trends in computer science education.

The event was designed to help educators and administrators to develop engaging computer science programs at their schools and to provide resources to inspire students to take interest in computer science, from elementary grades up through AP courses in high school. Making computer science an integral part of every child’s education ensures that students of all genders and backgrounds have a chance to pursue these opportunities.


Read: FETC 2020: Day 2 preview


In the spirit of the firehose approach, the event featured three sets of three simultaneous 50-minute computer science discussions and presentations from education experts and solution providers. For example, in the first hour, educators were gathering in one area to discover how students could learn coding through Minecraft. In another area, FUNecole was discussing how a multidisciplinary curriculum—including social-emotional learning, digital literacy, computer science, streams and 21st-century skills—could be used from grades 1 to 6 to develop the whole child. And in another area, a roundtable discussion from the Florida Department of Education focused on computer science curricula and standards. Attendees were free to go from area to area based on their interest.

“The goal of the event is really to provide hands-on learning opportunities, and also give teachers something they can take away with them,” says Joseph Kmoch, the event’s coordinator.

Other 50-minute sessions during the event were focused on areas such as Microsoft MakeCode, developing deeper thinking with math and design concepts, and learning to code (presented by Carnegie Mellon University’s computer science academy). Also on hand were Microsoft and the National Center for Women in Informational Technology (NCWIT) to discuss the importance of engaging girls in computer science.


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