Dr. Bob Brown presents material related to computing and STEM to K-12 schools in and around the Atlanta area.
About Dr. Brown
Bob is a retired KSU faculty member. He can present the following at schools or other locations in the Atlanta area. For dates, please see his availability calendar. These presentations are geared toward middle school and high school students, but can be adapted for other audiences, including elementary school students. Contact Bob at Bob.Brown@Kennesaw.edu for details or to schedule a presentation or get my vCard or public key.
Bob is a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator.
I'm available to visit your classes in person and also remotely. Less "windshield time" means more time for virtual visits, so if I haven't been to your school, maybe this is the time. I'm very willing to learn the remote software that your school uses, so please check my calendar and let me know how I can help!
We at the College of Computing and Software Engineering will continue to support our K-12 partners in four ways:
- Content specifically developed for virtual learning
- Development of new content for virtual learning
- Existing content applicable to virtual learning
- Synchronous live presentations using your school's presentation tool.
Content ready for virtual learning is listed immediately below. For development of new content or to schedule a synchronous live presentation, please contact me directly at Bob.Brown@Kennesaw.edu.
Content Specifically Developed for Virtual Learning
Find the Pokémon: The Importance of Algorithms (Grades 5-9) In this video, we learn about the importance of algorithms and choosing the right algorithm for a given task by playing a "Find the Pokémon Game." Along the way we meet Bill and Gina, school kids who play along with us. We discover two different algorithms for finding a hidden Pokémon and learn when to choose one over the other. This video can be played online or downloaded. Handout, game sheets, and transcript are included. 18 minutes.
Best Practices for Academic Success (Grades 9-college) In this eight-minute video, Dr. Brown recalls the advice he gave students in his classes about note-taking and studying. Transcript and slides are available with the video.
Introduction to Binary Numbers (Grades 3-5) Students make their own binary counting cards, then learn to manipulate binary numbers following instructions in a video. This video can be played online or downloaded. Handout, printable counting cards, and transcript are included. 13 minutes.
Other Presentation Topics
Algorithms and searching: This is a single 50-minute presentation based on the Battleships activity from CS Unplugged, revised to use Pokémon instead of battleships. Students work in pairs to locate each other's Pokémon, first performing a linear search, then a binary search, and, time permitting, a hashed search. The concept of algorithm is introduced and formally defined. Students learn that some algorithms are more efficient than others, and Big-O notation is introduced briefly. The lesson concludes with a discussion of the importance of selecting the correct algorithm. Curriculum elements include comparing numbers for equality and inequality, coordinates, algorithms, efficiency of algorithms, and searching.
Binary numbers: This is a single presentation of about 50-minutes that introduces binary numbers. It was designed for grades 6-10, but has been presented successfully to third-graders. The session outline and objectives are included in the teacher notes. If I present this, I will furnish a set of binary counting cards for each student, but we ask schools to duplicate the handout. I have fun presenting this, and I hope you'll invite me to do so, but I've packaged it into a teachers' kit that will let teachers present it independently with minimal pre-work.
Boolean Logic: Kat's Cat Checker: This is the logic-only part of the Digital Logic series, condensed to a one-period presentation. Katherine, Kat for short, is headed to Hogwarts, and uses logic to specify the ideal cat to take with her. This may be best suited to grades 8 to 12.
Careers in computing: This is a 15- to 50-minute presentation, depending on the time available, in which I discuss a number of careers in the computing field and end by suggesting that students also consider becoming a college professor.
Coding fundamentals with Python: This one is under development at a middle school; help me work on it. I'm working on a presentation of about eight or nine contact hours. I'm looking for another school to work with me. If you're teaching Python, try Python Jump Start, or check the free books at Real Python.
Cryptography, introduction: A single 50-minute session that introduces substitution and transposition ciphers, beginning with the Cæsar Cipher. Students decrypt a message encrypted with the rail-fence cipher, then create a keyword substitution cipher. The presentation is available as a narrated-slide video. The accompanying handout is available as a PDF.
Cryptography, public key: A single 50-minute presentation that demonstrates the workings of modern public key cryptography, including digital signatures. This one is all lecture, with no classroom activities, and so is best suited to grades 10-12. There is a take-home exercise in which students generate their own public/private key pair.
Cryptography exercises: These are optional exercises for students who want to go beyond the exercises in the handouts. The exercises cover the Vigenère cipher, the one-time pad, and public key cryptography.
Digital logic: I've presented this several times with refinements after each. It shows students that there's no magic in computers. There is an outline and objectives document available; I am very willing to adapt it to your curriculum. Handouts for all three days are available to download, and there's a video of day 3. Students need a basic understanding of binary numbers. This might fit best in grades 8 to 12. This requires the free software package Digital Works. If installation of software is a problem, I can bring copies for each student on CD.
Information Security: This is a series of three presentations with a target audience of grades 7-10. It is probably best to do these once a week or every other week for three or six weeks rather than all at once. The three sessions are Information Security Fundamentals, Encryption, and Threat Analysis. There is more detail in the outline and objectives.
Micro:Bit: This is a series of eight 50-minute sessions in which students learn the fundamentals of programming using the Micro:Bit device. Programming differs from "coding" in depth and breadth. Students learn "coding" and also some of the science behind software development.
Raspberry Pi: What we can do depends on the school's objective, the equipment available, and the time available. If you have Raspberry Pi equipment, I can help your teachers get ready to use it in the curriculum. I can work directly with students to get them started building Raspberry Pi projects. I can help your school start a Code Club and provide some assistance in the operation of the club. If the Raspberry Pi is new to you, it's a $45 computer that can be used for making physical projects. The $45 is for a bare computer; you will end up spending $80-200 per pair of students to equip a Raspberry Pi lab. I've prepared an annotated shopping list to help you get started. The Raspberry Pi Foundation has more details.
Sphero SPRX: I'm working with a middle school to teach block programming to sixth graders using the Sphero environment. The program will be eight or nine lessons, and I'm looking for a second school to work with me.
Need something else?
I am very willing to prepare new material to suit your needs or curriculum. Contact me and we can probably work something out. I'm also available to help with curriculum development, professional development, and the development of learning objects. Contact me at Bob.Brown@Kennesaw.edu to work out the details.
There is no fee for any presentation, but we do ask that schools duplicate any handout material that may be required. When I present at a school, a teacher must be present at all times and be responsible for classroom management. The presentations listed are designed for a room with a projector and a Windows computer that can show PowerPoint with video and sound. If you let me know, I can bring a suitable laptop with HDMI video and audio output. I can also present without audiovisual aids if you give me plenty of notice.
Copyright © 2018 by Kennesaw State University
Last updated: 2023-03-23 14:29
Originally published: 2018-03-30