One hundred teachers took part in a workshop held by Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar Computer Science faculty members.
Over the weekend teachers from 30 middle schools and high schools in Qatar attended CS4Qatar, a new program offered by the Computer Science faculty at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. The three-day professional development workshop was tailored to reach out to technology, math and computer science teachers in local high schools and middle schools. “It was wonderful to see so many teachers interested in the inaugural CS4Qatar event. The teachers' enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge encourages the Computer Science faculty at Carnegie Mellon to continue to partner with them to advance the state of the technological art in local schools,” says Mark Stehlik, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education in the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science, who taught the courses. “It also provides further evidence that Qatar is moving more and more towards an information-based and technology-driven economy, and that education will lead the way in this regard.” The workshop, which is part of a series of outreach events Carnegie Mellon Qatar is planning, was comprised of seminars on three topics. The first session was “computer science unplugged: how to teach and learn computer science without programming.” The second day was devoted solely to Alice, an object-based, 3-D graphics authoring environment used to teach computer programming principles to students in middle school and high school. The workshop concluded with a day-long seminar on Java, an object-oriented programming language that is widely used in introductory courses in programming and computer science. “The workshop was really successful,” says Mohamed Mansour, Information Technology Coordinator at Hamza Bin Abdul Muttalib Independent School. “The duration of the training was adequate. All in all the workshop met our needs, offered excellent practical training, introduced us to new programming languages and skills that not only assist Computer teachers but also help Physics, Math and Science teachers.” Additionally, Qatar Science & Technology Park offered a $5,000 sponsorship of the event. The money was used to purchase 5 laptop computers so that teachers could put into practice what they learned in the workshop. The computers were raffled off at the end of the event by Ben Figgis, QSTP Marketing Manager. Schools that participated in CS4Qatar include: Abdul Rahman bin Jassim Preparatory, Al-Bayan Educational Complex for Girls, Al Istiklal Secondary, Al Jazeera Academy, Al Khaleej Independent, Al Khor Girls Elementary, Al-Mana Secondary, Al Resala, Al Zubara, College of the North Atlantic – Qatar, Doha College, Doha Independent Secondary, Al Rayyan Secondary, Global Academy International, Jassim bin Hamad Secondary, MES Indian, Mohammed Al-Manea Secondary for Boys, Omar Bin Al-Khattab Secondary for Boys, Qatar Academy, Qatar International, Qatar Technical, Raba’a al-Adaweya, Roda bin Muhammed, Roqaya Preparatory School, The American School of Doha, The Learning Center, Al-Arqam Academy, Umm Ayman Secondary School for Girls and Um-Hakeem Secondary. “This was an unprecedented experience. CS4Qatar was well-attended by so many teachers with hands-on experience. Carnegie Mellon Qatar continues to build bridges between schools in Qatar and universities in Education City,” says Majd Sakr, Ph.D., professor of computer science.