2021 Professional Development

One-Week Workshop for Teachers

BJC Professional Development Workshops

BJC is a College Board-endorsed AP Computer Science Principles curriculum and professional development based on the themes of creativity and social impacts. Since 2012, we have provided professional development to more than 600 teachers throughout the U.S., reaching more than 5,000 students.

We are excited to announce that this summer, we will be offering 2 different workshops - one for our middle / early high school school curriculum, and the other for our high school curriculum.

If you are interested in attending our PD in Summer 2021, please complete our BJC Summer 2021 PD interest form. The application will be released Winter 2021, and if you leave us your contact information, we will be able to notify you when it is ready.

Middle / Early High School PD

BJC has hosted summer PD workshops for almost a decade, traditionally geared toward our high school and undergraduate level curriculum. But this year, we are excited to announce our inaugural BJC PD workshop specifically for our newly developed middle / early high school curriculum. It has been a long time goal to expand our reach beyond the high school setting, to bring exciting and engaging CS curriculum further into the K-12 ecosystem. We are super excited that we are finally in a place to do just that, and we hope you are able to join us this summer!

If you are interested in high school PD, skip to the High School PD section below.

BJC will offer a one week (5 days) virtual computer science middle / early high school PD workshop this summer 2021 with generous support from the Hopper Dean Foundation. This opportunity is primarily for middle / early high school teachers and administrators, but we also welcome participation from parents or community members running extra curricular activities for their middle school students. No prior experience with computer science is necessary. We are looking to have a cohort of at least 20 teachers.

There will be 4 hours of synchronous activities per day, with the remainder of the time daily for asynchronous work, to offer schedule flexibility to participants. The BJC middle school curriculum consists of 3 units, with the first two units designed to last for one full academic year. This workshop will focus on the first 2 units, and will provide a preview of the third unit. All course materials will be available online at no cost (link to the curriculum coming soon!).

This workshop will be led by Dan Garcia, Teaching Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. The curriculum and workshop is supported by a small team of BJC veterans – Mary Fries, Lauren Mock, Talia Ye, and BJC TAs and Lead Teachers.

High School PD

BJC has offered High School PD workshops since 2012 at low or no cost to teachers with support from the National Science Foundation (grants 13469222 and 1542922), DonorsChoose, and Infosys Foundation USA. They have been organized by Professor Tiffany Barnes at NC State University, who leads our efforts to provide regional BJC PD workshops at universities around the United States.

BJC PD workshops are led by BJC Lead Teachers who have attended a BJC Summer PD workshop, taught the BJC course in high school, and participated in our ongoing “Train the Trainer” professional development program. The workshop content is based on the BJC curriculum, but is designed to also prepare teachers for facilitating hands-on programming labs, supporting collaboration, and creating equitable opportunities for students to learn computing.

We typically offer regional 5-day face to face summer professional development workshops for teachers intending to teach BJC within the next 2 school years (with priority to those teaching sooner), however due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Summer 2021 PD workshops will be held online.

BJC PD Summer 2021 Schedule and Application

Below is our 2021 PD schedule. Our Summer 2021 PD Application will be released this Winter 2021, but in the meantime, leave us your contact information on our BJC Summer 2021 PD Interest Form so we can let you know when details are released.

Date Time Grade Level Delivery Registration
June 28 - July 2 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM EST High School Online App coming soon.
July 12 - 16 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM EST High School Online App coming soon.
July 19 - 23 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM EST Middle School Online App coming soon.
July 19 - 23 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM EST High School Online App coming soon.
July 26 - 30 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM EST High School Online App coming soon.

How much does it cost?

BJC Summer PD is offered in 2021 for a non-refundable $75 registration fee.

How do I become a BJC Lead Teacher?

If you are a BJC teacher, and would like to prepare to lead BJC workshops, email pd@bjc.berkeley.edu. Be sure to plan to attend our BJC “Train the Trainer” Lead Teacher workshop on June 26, 2021 from 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM EST online, and one of our online 5-day BJC workshops as a Teaching Assistant (TA).

The BJC Curriculum, In Short

BJC, The Beauty and Joy of Computing, is an AP Computer Science Principles curriculum that emphasizes the joy and complexity of creating visual computer programs and apps, balanced with critical reflection on both the potential benefits and harms of new computing technologies. The Beauty and Joy of Computing adheres to the College Board’s new AP Computer Science Principles course requirements.

BJC has a strong design and programming focus, using the visual programming language Snap! and a collaborative, exploratory approach where students work in teams to bring their own unique creations to life.

BJC is culturally situated, presenting programming and computing ideas not in isolation, but in the context of how students interact with computers in their daily lives. In our readings and discussions, we critically explore how technology has changed the world for better, and for worse, enabling students to understand the potential benefits and harms of creating new things with computing. Student readings are taken mainly from the companion book Blown to Bits, which is available for free online download.

BJC is designed to meet the requirements of the College Board AP Computer Science Principles curriculum framework. It was originally developed as a university breadth course at the University of California, Berkeley, and has been extensively revised for high school use at EDC (Education Development Center).

The newest curriculum is at bjc.edc.org.

Why choose BJC?

  • BJC teaches strong fundamental concepts of programming.
    • In BJC students use Snap!, an accessible but full-featured block-based programming language, to explore concepts ranging from loops and variables up through recursion and higher-order functions.
  • BJC focuses on collaboration.
    • In BJC, students are encouraged to work in small groups, using pair programming for projects, and collaborating online to answer each others’ questions.
  • BJC assignments foster creativity and design thinking.
    • BJC includes project-centric labs, where groups are encouraged to build and design their own games, applications, and more. See Snap! examples!
  • BJC situates computing in the real world.
    • BJC units explore how computing is used in real-world applications, from Google Search algorithms to Big Data to today’s news.
  • BJC emphasizes that computing is for everyone, and is a matter of equity.
    • Computing is a vital skill in the 21st century; everyone needs to have input into new computing innovations. BJC emphasizes equity and engages students and teachers in discussing how we can promote it.
  • BJC is well-supported.
    • BJC teachers attend face-to-face professional development programs and have access to a wealth of online resources, including a repository of shared course materials, and weekly group calls.

For more information on how BJC compares to the general CS Principles framework, please see our comparison guide.

Who is teaching BJC?

The Beauty and Joy of Computing is taught across the country, with over 600 teachers from 41 states applying to attend our teacher preparation workshops. Teachers are also using our curriculum in Canada, Ireland, Guam, Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia, Senegal, Cape Verde, Nepal, Austria, Italy, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Germany.


If you have questions about BJC, please email us at pd@bjc.berkeley.edu and include your name, school name, and location.