Ti2 Data Science Program
Why teach young children computer science and the fundamentals of programming? Why continue to educate older children in computing and even expose to and immerse them in data science, which presupposes a strong understanding of computing? What do these young people gain; what might they lose?
There is the practical reason that most things we touch or more likely touch us operate with computers chips and components, which require programing knowledge to understand how to make them work. Others hold the perspective that learning computer science cultivates a type of procedural and process thinking of cause and effect in highly complex systems and therefore the ability to abstract within high levels of systemic complexity.
It’s no accident that a single program episode for younger people has multiple themes in time and space that move with such rapidity. They require a certain type of processing to follow.
In a technologically directed world where economic and political power resides with those who make or understand the technology it is clear that developing an understanding is important to professional success. Power is amplified by their ability to use and understand computing. In that same environment it is personally important to gain such understanding to be comfortable in this world.
At Ti2, we recognize computing as another form of literacy in a world permeated if not grounded in technology. We want our students to be successful professionally. We really would like our students to be fully at home in the world into which they are entering as independent adults.
The full program is a six-year course of study. Students with prerequisite knowledge and understanding can enter at any level with permission from the program director. And, as always, age is a rough parameter. The Innovation Institute does not deny students the right to learn. We do take social and emotional development and wellbeing into consideration for admissions to a course.
Building Foundations in Computer Science, Grades 1-2,3
The major challenge in teaching young children about programming is that many do not have an interest in it or think it is beyond their capabilities. At Ti2, we shatter both myths by designing fun and exciting courses that teach the essence of computer science and programming to young children, grades 1-3, by primarily using the Scratch programming language developed at MIT. In this course, the children learn important programming concepts such as:
- event-based programming logic
- simple functions
- debugging techniques
How? They do so while making simple games. And, games can be art-themed games, quiz-themed games and more traditional games. Consistent with our philosophy of joyful learning, we believe that learning programming concepts need not be boring or inaccessible.