Infosys Foundation USA used today’s Hour of Code events to announce a program designed to address what its chairperson calls "one of the biggest gaps" in education. Kaustav Mitra says the Pathfinders Summer Institute will bring hundreds of K-12 teachers from throughout the United States to Indiana University in Bloomington for computer science training. He says participants’ tuition, travel and boarding will be paid for through foundation money, matching district funds and crowdfunding efforts. The foundation made the announcement at today’s Hour of Code event at the Statehouse, where Governor Eric Holcomb sat alongside students learning coding.
During an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Mitra said the Hour of Code could be "the single largest global education initiative ever."
The Pathfinders Summer Institute will run from July 15-20, 2018 on the IU campus. Mitra says, while the original plan was for more than 800 teachers to take part, he expects the program to ultimately attract between 1,000-1,100 teachers. The initiative will also offer training for school counselors to help them better support students looking to explore computer science education and careers.
Mitra, who grew up in Bloomington, says, since there is a lack of computer science teachers in schools throughout the country, they can often feel isolated. He says the institute will give the foundation the chance to "both celebrate teachers and to get them the resources they need to be even more effective in helping students navigate this world."
The organization is partnering with education crowdfunding platform DonorsChoose.org to help teachers attend the institute for free. DonorsChoose.org founder Charles Best says it is "inspiring to see a community of citizen donors come alongside the foundation to support these bold teachers."