SuperSchool teacher training seminars are offered periodically and in a variety of subject areas. SuperSchool helps to enable teachers to broaden their science expertise, jump start their course content and renew their teaching spirit.

SuperSchool is open to teachers at regular public schools, dependent charter schools, independent charter schools with 501(c)(3) public charity status and private non-profit schools with 501(c)(3) public charity status located in California.

Upcoming Classes

Raspberry Pi Robotic Car Fall Workshop


Date: November 2-3, 9:30 AM – 2:30 PM both days
Location: Anaerobe Systems, 15906 Concord Circle, Morgan Hill, 95037
Number of spots available: 25

Come build a robot car and program it in Python to drive. Educators will learn how to use the Raspberry Pi, a small computer, and its built-in tools for coding. Teachers will apply coding fundamentals by building prototype circuits on a breadboard and use the Raspberry Pi to program them.

Learning Objectives: Educators learn the fundamentals of coding through Python, one of the most popular programming languages in industry, and how to integrate computational thinking into STEAM subjects through physical computing and robotics. Physical computing is an effective instructional strategy for engaging beginners in computer science, where students learn how to solve problems, collaborate and think critically through hands-on projects.

No technical background is required for participants, and we recommend this workshop for educators teaching 6-12th grade. We will provide hardware kits for each participant during the workshop. Teachers get to take home the hardware kit (includes Raspberry Pi 3, circuit prototyping materials, and robotic car parts), NGSS-aligned lesson plan, and ongoing virtual support. A loaner classroom kit of cars will be available to teachers completing the workshop. Personal laptops are required.

Previous Classes

Making Images

Instructor: Gloriane Hirata

For teachers of grades 4- 8. Teachers of other grades may find this seminar not quite as useful, but definitely interesting

How are images created? How are they perceived? How do we capture images and keep it forever? These are age old questions and this workshop will help you find the answers. We will build models to help us understand:

  • What is light?
  • How does light behave?
  • How does light create images?
  • How can we capture these images?

Workshop participants may, but not limited, to making the following:

  • Camera model
  • Telescope model
  • Projector model
  • Pinhole Viewer
  • Periscope
  • Kaleidoscope
  • Cyanotypes

Note to Participants:

  • This workshop can be “messy” so please dress appropriately.
  • Bring a shopping bag or box to carry your workshop materials home/school.

DIY SmartPhone Microscope

Instructor: Gloriane Hirada

For teachers of all grade levels

Our world is an interesting place, but it is so much more fascinating when seen up close. Through a magnifier, details that are never seen by the naked eye are revealed.

Workshop participants will construct their own stand that can convert any smartphone into a powerful digital microscope with a magnification up to and above 300X. Captured images can be shared with students and other colleagues. This microscope should be compatible with any smartphone. Construction plans are simple and cost as little as $10 to replicate.

Workshop includes, but not limited to:

  • Construction of microscope
  • Basic slide making techniques
  • How to capture and enlarge images
  • How to use the microscope for presentations

Note to Participants:

  • Bring your own smartphone.
  • his workshop can be “messy” so please dress appropriately.
  • Bring a shopping bag or box to carry your workshop materials home/school.

This workshop is appropriate for teachers in all grade levels. Microscopes are tools that can be used in many areas and not just limited to biology.

(Beginner) Raspberry Pi Robotic Cars

Instructor: Heidi Black

For teachers of grades 6-12

Come build a robot car and program it in Python to drive. Educators will learn how to use the Raspberry Pi, a small computer, and its built-in tools for coding. Teachers will apply coding fundamentals by building prototype circuits on a breadboard and use the Raspberry Pi to program them.

Learning Objectives:Educators learn the fundamentals of coding through Python, one of the most popular programming languages in industry, and how to integrate computational thinking into STEAM subjects through physical computing and robotics. Physical computing is an effective instructional strategy for engaging beginners in computer science, where students learn how to solve problems, collaborate and think critically through hands-on projects.

No technical background is required for participants, and we recommend this workshop for educators teaching 6-12th grade. We will provide hardware kits for each participant during the workshop. Teachers get to take home the hardware kit (includes Raspberry Pi 3, circuit prototyping materials, and robotic car parts), NGSS-aligned lesson plan, and ongoing virtual support. A loaner classroom kit of cars will be available to teachers completing the workshop. Personal laptops are required.

Advanced Raspberry Pi Robotic Cars

Instructor: Vivien MacNguyen

For teachers of grades 6-12 (but all interested parties are welcome)

Workshop Summary: Come build a robot car with Python, and use sensors to allow it to be self-driving! Educators will learn how to use the Raspberry Pi, a small computer, and its built-in tools for coding. Teachers will apply coding fundamentals by building prototype circuits on a breadboard and use the Raspberry Pi to program them, and then go on to build a functional robot car that incorporates sensors. In addition to this, they will learn advanced concepts about the Raspberry Pi’s Operating System, and how to use arrow keys to navigate their robot car.

Learning Objectives: Educators learn the fundamentals of coding through Python, one of the most popular programming languages in industry, and how to integrate computational thinking into STEAM subjects through physical computing and robotics. Physical computing is an effective instructional strategy for engaging beginners in computer science, where students learn how to solve problems, collaborate and think critically through hands-on projects.

Some background knowledge in computer science is required for participants, and we recommend this workshop for educators teaching 6-12th grade. We will provide hardware kits for each participant during the workshop. Teachers get to take home the hardware kit (includes Raspberry Pi 3, circuit prototyping materials, and robotic car parts), NGSS-aligned lesson plan, and ongoing virtual support. A loaner classroom kit of cars will be available to teachers completing the workshop. Personal laptops are required.

Instructor Profiles

Heidi Strahm Black holds credentials in physics and biology and has been with the East Side Union High School District for over 30 years. Heidi spent a year as a Teacher-in-Residence with the Exploratorium and her focus is hands-on learning. She has contributed to the Exploratorium’s curriculum and published in The Physics Teacher. For the past 15 years Heidi has worked with science fairs at all levels, from individual elementary schools to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Gloriane Hirata retired as the Science Coordinator from the Santa Clara County Office of Education. With over 30 years of experience in education, Gloriane began her career in elementary and middle school classrooms. She has also worked outside the public school system as science product manager of an educational software company, manager for The Tech Museum, and educational director for Resource Area For Teaching (RAFT). Gloriane has served on several non-profit boards, including RAFT and California Science Teachers Association and has also chaired and co-chaired two CSTA statewide conferences. Gloriane has spent the second half of her career providing professional development seminars/workshops to classroom teachers in science. Even in retirement, she continues to pursue her interest in working with teachers.

Continuing Education Units (CEU’s)

CEUs are handled through San Jose State University. If you have a question about CEUs, please call 408-924-2685 or email ceuprograms@sjsu.edu. SuperSchool classes have been approved for Continuing Education Units CEUs. Please note: Ten hours of instruction are required for each CEU and are awarded only in whole number increments (1.0, 2.0, etc.) Each SuperSchool class is only 5 hours in duration, so to receive 1.0 CEU, you must complete at least 2 SuperSchool Classes. Here’s how it works:

  • If you take 1 SuperSchool class, you are eligible for 0 CEUs.
  • If you take 2 SuperSchool classes, you are eligible for 1 CEU.
  • If you take 3 SuperSchool classes, you are eligible for 1 CEU.
  • If you take 4 SuperSchool classes, you are eligible for 2 CEUs.

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