FAQ | Contact Us  |  Register  |  Login

UC Davis Center for Integrated Computing and STEM Education (C-STEM) --- Research and Outreach
Home > Teachers & Administrators > Professional Development > 2012-2013 > Summer Institute > Computing Course

Computing Course

Introduction to Computing and Robotics


Location: 1062 Bainer Hall
Time: 8:30am-5:00pm
Date: July 9 – July 13, 2012

Course Description

How many times have you asked your students to apply what they have learned towards creatively solving problems and found a sea of blank faces staring back at you? Working with K-12 educators with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the UC Davis K-14 Outreach Center for Computing and STEM Education (C-STEM) has developed a new strategy to help solve this problem. This institute will train teachers on how to integrate computer programming and computer science into STEM related curriculum (Technology courses, IT essentials, Introduction to Computers, Computer Applications, Computer Programming, Robotics) The C-STEM Center and the NSF CREST Program will help trainees to implement the program during the academic year.

Intended Audience

This Institute is geared toward grades 6 – 12 Computer Science, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Teachers. No prior computer programming and robotics experience is needed. More specifically:

  • Teachers who are interested in learning new ways to engage students in analytical thinking and problem solving skills where traditional methods have failed.
  • Teachers who want to reach “at risk” students using hands-on activities and project-based methods in the areas of math, science, and technology.
  • Teachers looking to increase their use of computers and robotics as teaching and learning tools.
  • Teachers interested in providing students with 21st century career skills.
  • Teachers interested in advising students on participating in the RoboPlay competitions.

Outline of Topics

  • How to programm in C/C++ to solve STEM problems.
  • Quick geometry visualization and animation in C (for future applications in geometry, physics, etc.)
  • working principals of robotics.
  • Programming robotics in C/C++.
  • Integrating computer programming in C/C++ and robotics into their classroom teaching of science, technology, engineering, and math subjects.

Outcome for Trainees’ Students

  1. After taking this course, students will be able to solve complicated STEM problems using computers in the subsequent STEM courses such as math, physics, robotics, engineering, biology, and chemistry
  2. Work comfortably and competently with STEM principles
  3. Identify, formulate, and solve STEM problems
  4. Effectively use computer and computer programming for future employment.
  5. Understand working principals of robotics and program robotics to accomplish desired tasks.
  6. Students will be able to participate in the RoboPlay competitions.


  • Deadline for early registration: March 30, 2012
  • Final deadline for registration: June 15, 2012
  • $499 for one course / $799 for both this course and the complementary one registered before March 30, 2012;
    $599 / $899 before June 15, 2012. Space is limited; please register here to reserve your space.
  • Please make checks out to “The Regents of the University of California”.
  • A modular robot Mobot will be used in the training. If you do not have one yet, you may get one by paying $290 in the registration.
  • Housing will be available for attendees outside of the greater Sacramento Area through UC Davis Student Housing. For those interested in staying on campus for the Summer Institute, reservations can be made through Student Housing on an individual basis using their Housing Form. The rate is $83 per night.
  • Registration covers instruction, supplementary textbooks, teaching materials, software licenses for teaching, morning beverages, lunch, and UC Davis C-STEM Center support for implementation of the program during the academic year
  • No refund after instruction begins.


  1. An optional $145 for 4 Continuing Education Unit quarter credits from UC Davis Extension. Credits request forms available on the first day of the class.


The UC Davis K-14 Outreach Center for Computing and STEM Education (C-STEM)


UC Davis C-STEM Center, Yolo County Office of Education, Sacramento County Office of Education, and California AfterSchool Network

Financial Supporter

National Science Foundation under the Grant CNS-1132709


For more information, please contact:

Kevin Gucwa, Director Assistant
UC Davis K-14 Outreach Center for Computing and STEM Education
University of California
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
Phone: (530) 752-1028
Email: kgucwa(AT)ucdavis(DOT)edu

Teachers’ Testimonials

“My experience with C-STEM has been far more rewarding than I expected. My principal signed me up for a 2 week training last summer with Professor Cheng at UCD Davis. I was very tentative to attend because I had no background in computer science and did not see how it could be helpful to my middle school students. I was very wrong. I attended the 2 week training and joined for the fellowship to help develop the curriculum. I taught programming as an elective using the C-STEM curriculum this year and was thrilled to see how it positively affected such a wide range of my students. My low students were so motivated by learning how to operate the robots that they improved their understanding of difficult math concepts like rates, proportions, and writing and solving equations. My higher students were excited by the new challenge and all the different possibilities that they devoted extra time to the material outside of school and are now looking up what computer science classes they can take at the High School. This has been a very rewarding experience for my students and I can’t wait to teach it again next year.”

— Megan Schoellhamer, Math Teacher, Bridgeway Island Elementary School

“This pilot program has been extremely beneficial to me. Consequently, I am now determined to continue using what I have been learning about teaching the C++ programming language in my robotics classes in the future.”

— Dubarrie Fagout, Technology Teacher, River City High School, West Sacramento, California

“This is a great way to engage kids in math- especially those students who struggle to see how math relates to the real world. When we talk about giving kids ’21st century skills’ and ‘closing the achievement gap’, the C-STEM curricula can really make a difference for students and teachers.”

— Brian Donnelly Ed.D., STEM Program Coordinator and Industrial Technology Teacher, Harper Junior High School

“Unlocking a well hidden truth: Math can be a wonderfully creative and useful tool, not only in school but in your everyday life. Using Ch as a medium allows students to be the artists and algebra to be the paintbrush.”

— Chris Schlesselman, Lead CTE Teacher, Technology & Engineering Design Academy, Hiram W Johnson High School

“The C-STEM curricula can benefit kids by making mathematics an exciting, interactive, tangible thing. Not only will this content help students in their math classes, it will initiate them into a fraternity of a very few, those that can program computers! These are marketable skills that can help pay college bills and pave their way to rewarding occupations. I am very proud to have been a part of this program because I know it will help kids.”

— Joseph Stymeist, Engineering Teacher, School of Engineering and Sciences

“The C-STEM curriculum will benefit students by providing them with the necessary critical thinking and problem solving skills that the job market requires. I feel that in our current curriculum ideas and facts are stressed more than strategies and analytic skills. In my opinion, by stressing the strategies and skills needed to solve problems, rather than focusing on all the individual problems themselves, our students will be fully equipped to tackle any obstacle. The C-STEM curriculum will provide such skills.”

— Ryan Mangan, Engineering Teacher, School of Engineering and Sciences