"The number of teachers who sign up for CS4Qatar shows just how eager they are to learn about the latest technologies and share what they learn with their students." says Khaled Harras, Ph.D., computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon Qatar.
"As soon as the workshop is over, teachers begin asking when we are offering the next one. By holding new and innovative sessions each time, the same teachers can keep coming back and keep learning."
The daylong workshop, which is part of a series of outreach events held by Carnegie Mellon Qatar, was comprised of seminars on two topics.
The first session was on Programming in Becker's Robots.
This provided an intuitive and entertaining environment for the teachers to experiment with procedural logic within the context of an Object Oriented paradigm.
By manipulating robots in the robot world, they learn how to test their logic and have fun with programming.
The second session focused on competitive computer programming and its role at the intersection of technology and sport.
This workshop was designed to help teachers prepare their students for such events by covering problem set deconstruction, problem-solving strategies, effective teamwork and preparation.
Harras says he looks forward to seeing the outcome of this session at the next High School Programming Competition.
All of the computer programs used at CS4Qatar were loaded onto portable flash drives and given to the teachers so they could take them back to their schools and use them as teaching tools.
One teacher even planned to begin teaching the program this week.
CS4Qatar is a derivative of the Computer Science for High Schools (CS4HS) program at Carnegie Mellon Pittsburgh. Carnegie Mellon Qatar began holding the CS4Qatar workshops in June 2007.
More than 100 participants attended the first one and expressed a desire for additional workshops.
Now, one workshop for teachers and one for high school students are held each academic year.
Both events are so popular that space is now at a premium.
"CS4Qatar maps well with Qatar's vision of building a knowledge-based economy. To achieve that goal, we have to start educating young people as soon as possible. Any career path they choose will involve computers and technology."says Harras.
"By holding events for both teachers and students we are able to increase our educational reach, and make a greater contribution to Qatar as a whole."