This year, Constructing Modern Knowledge offers two incredible hands-on pre-institute workshops on July 8th from 9 AM to 4 PM for institute attendees interested in enhancing their learning experiences. These workshops are optional and not included in CMK 2024 registration.

You will be able to register for these workshops during the CMK registration process. These workshops run at the same time — you cannot register for both!

  1. Creative Computation and AI
  2. Introduction to Learning with Electronics

Workshop #1: Creative Computation and AI

Constructing Modern Knowledge founder Gary Stager and longtime CMK faculty member Jaymes Dec are offering a day-long workshop unlike any other. Like all CMK activities, this workshop is about action, not rhetoric. Participants will enjoy hands-on experiences to develop understanding of powerful computational concepts and inform classroom practice where learners are in the driver’s seat. Don’t be afraid of the fancy language used to describe this workshop. Jaymes and Gary have designed hands-on activities to bring classroom-tested powerful ideas to life for students and teachers alike.

This workshop welcomes programmers of all skill levels, from beginner to expert.

The day begins with playful explorations of programing in Logo with adventures in linguistics, probabilistic behavior, computer-generated poetry, geometry, and tool building to fact-check generative AI. After concrete experience with variables, procedurality, naming, conditionals, randomness, and recursion, it’s time to dive into the new wave of generative AI tools that expand the possibilities of creative expression with computer programming.

Gary & Jaymes at Maker Faire 2014

You will learn how to use the OpenAI Application Programming Interface (API), transforming simple Python scripts into intelligent applications. We will start with an overview of the OpenAI API. Learn how to create chatbots with distinct personalities and then watch as they have conversations with each other. Next, we will explore the vision capabilities of the API, writing code that can describe the content of photographs and narrate a slideshow generated from those images in the style of a nature documentary. We’ll also brainstorm new fun and creative ways to integrate AI into student programming projects. 

Workshop #2: Introduction to Learning with Electronics

Jumpstart your CMK 2024 learning adventures by joining veteran educators and longtime CMK faculty member Tracy Rudzitis in her popular workshop, Introduction to Learning with Electronics, where electronics and coding are demystified.

Learn about circuits, LEDs, switches, power, and more. Learn to program the low-cost and incredibly powerful BBC micro:bit and build whimsical robotics projects with the Hummingbird Bit Robotics Kit. This focused, nurturing, and relaxed workshop provides a solid foundation for Constructing Modern Knowledge project development!

Tracy Rudzitis leading a CMK Introduction to Learning with Electronics workshop

You will be able to register for these workshops during the CMK registration process. But remember, these workshops run at the same time — you cannot register for both!

Workshop leaders subject to change