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 curriculum, and the other for our high school curriculum.

Middle School / Early High School PD

The creators of BJC are developing a new course for middle school and early high school that teaches a functional approach to programming, emphasizing the flow of information through functions — rather than emphasizing iteration and commands — and including exciting projects in graphics, data, and media. We are offering a week-long, virtual workshop in summer 2021 for teachers, administrators, and parents or community members running extra-curricular activities. No prior experience with computer science is necessary, and all course materials will be available online for free.

We are looking for a cohort of at least 20 teachers who are interested in piloting at least one semester of these new materials with students in the 2021-2022 school year and providing us with feedback to help us revise and improve these materials in exchange for a stipend described below. One of our goals is to produce a curriculum that reaches students traditionally underrepresented in computer science, so BIPOC teachers and teachers of BIPOC students are strongly encouraged to participate and provide feedback about how best we can develop a program to serve BIPOC students.

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 — and is funded with generous support from the Hopper Dean Foundation.

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 for our PD workshops and links to the PD Application. Apps are due by May 31, 2021.

Date Time Grade Level Delivery Registration
June 28 - July 2 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM EST High School Online Closed
July 12 - 16 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM EST High School Online Closed
July 19 - 23 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM EST Middle School Online Closed
July 19 - 23 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM EST High School Online Closed
July 26 - 30 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM EST High School Online Closed
July 26 - 30 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM EST High School Online Closed

How much does it cost?

We are charging a non-refundable $75 registration fee to hold your spot. All course materials and year-long ongoing support are free.

For eligible teachers attending our Summer Middle School / Early High School workshop only, we are offering a $1,000 stipend. Participants will receive half of the stipend ($500) for completing the PD and submitting research consents and pre-instruments at the beginning of the academic year. Participants will receive the other half of the stipend ($500) for submitting mid-year instruments and post-instruments at the end of the academic year.

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.