Python Boot Camp Teaches Teachers Computer Language

Ten Loudoun County public Schools (LCPS) teachers and three students took part in a two-day Python Boot Camp on July 17 and 18 at J. Lupton Simpson Middle School.

Computer science teacher Dr. John Chapin and three rising seniors from the Academies of Loudoun (Ananya Sista, Deep Mangrulkar, and Kiersten Engen) hosted the camp, which taught the computer programming language. The LCPS Teachers in attendance were from middle schools or high schools where Introduction to Computer Science, CS Foundations and the new Data Science course are taught. 

This “upskilling” of teachers was an idea that Chapin and LCPS Supervisor, Computer Science Nick Grzeda came up with a few years ago. “It is great to see this idea realized with this group of teachers,” said Grzeda. “Our teachers are hungry to learn how to program so that they can be better instructors for our students, and Dr. Chapin’s expertise and high quality teaching experience can provide them with the skills that they need.”

“Many times teachers are so focused on the teaching of computer science that they do not get the opportunity to actually do coding,” said Chapin. “This course gives the teachers the opportunity to get experience with hands-on coding using curriculum that they can utilize in the classroom.”

“As a student who was lucky enough to gain most of my programming experience from my teacher, I know how important it is to have instruction with hands-on learning rather than a PowerPoint presentation,” said Sista. “Introducing teachers to the basic fundamentals of Python using hands-on learning is a transformative experience that can empower their students, who will also be taught with such methods.”

This Python Boot Camp was the kick off for a week of summer professional development experiences held at the AWS Think Big Space. Teachers were upskilled in Minecraft Education and LEGO Robotics later in the week. The LCPS Computer Science Office will be hosting future sessions and Boot Camps during the 2023-24 school year.

Published July 26, 2023