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Professional Development

Current Professional Development Schedule

Professional Development for Educators

In-person Professional Development is held at school district offices and college campuses around the country and will resume when the covid-19 pandemic is over. 

Typically a full-day in length including the robot assembly.

Distance learning Professional Development are held on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays in 1.5-hour sessions. We send robotic kits to educators in advance of these workshops. 

See the summer 2020 Zoom events from our YouTube Playlist Distance Learning.

Parallax offers entirely free Professional Development courses to bring robotics, electronics, coding, and physical computing to your classroom or distance learning program for middle school through college level instructors. Common to all of our workshops, conducted via Zoom or in-person, we cover:

  • Starting-from-scratch software and hardware setup, no experience required
  • An introduction to circuit-building on a breadboard using real-world electronic components
  • Beginner-level physical computing and best coding practices
  • Step-by-step subsystem testing and troubleshooting to build engineering skills

We offer three tracks: cyber:bot, ActivityBot 360 and Shield-Bot with Arduino. Further, these courses are offered by Parallax or our partners Cyber.org and Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Academy.

Robotics with Python: cyber:bot & micro:bit

The cyber:bot robot uses the very popular micro:bit controller in a robot. The two main benefits of the cyber:bot are the very popular Python programming language with a browser-based simple coding environment and all the well-known Parallax robotic circuit-building activities.

In this workshop you will build, program, customize, and take home a Parallax cyber:bot. You will learn the best classroom implementation strategies with accompanying curriculum, including standards alignment and assessments around the cyber:bot Tutorial Series.

The prerequisites for this workshop include basic computer skills like installing software, typing code and navigating to web pages.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn common Python programming concepts and techniques
  • Learn how to support your students from robot building through troubleshooting
  • Experience a variety of STEM topics with cyber:bot projects
  • Build your knowledge to empower your students to participate in contests and engage in projects that promote collaboration, critical thinking, and in-depth understanding

Course Activities

  • Use the on-line Python code editor to compile, flash and run code on the cyber:bot
  • Build, calibrate, and verify hardware/software communications
  • Write Python code following formatting and syntax rules
  • Program the cyber:bot to perform maneuvers
  • Connect sensor circuits and program the cyber:bot respond to its environment
  • Learn basic electronic troubleshooting (circuits, code, power supply, etc)

Robotics with BlocklyProp: ActivityBot 360°

The BlocklyProp programming language and the ActivityBot 360° robot are Parallax’s most powerful combination.

A familiar Blockly programming environment and a highly capable microcontroller brain make this robot both a contest winner and a versatile tool for a variety of student-built projects.

You will build, program, customize, and take home a Parallax ActivityBot 360 in this workshop. You will learn the best classroom implementation strategies with accompanying curriculum, including standards alignment and assessments using the ActivityBot with BlocklyProp Tutorial Series.

The prerequisites for this workshop include basic computer skills like installing software, typing code and navigating to web pages.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn common programming concepts and techniques, made simple with BlocklyProp
  • Learn how to support your students from robot building through troubleshooting and on to project completion.
  • Experience a variety of STEM topics with ActivityBot 360 lessons and projects.
  • Build your knowledge to empower your students to participate in contests and engage in projects that promote collaboration, critical thinking, and in-depth understanding

Course Activities

  • Install and setup BlocklyProp software programming environment
  • Build, calibrate, and verify hardware/software communications
  • Learn the basics of Blockly programming on the ActivityBot 360
  • Program the ActivityBot to perform maneuvers
  • Connect sensor circuits and program the robot to respond to its environment
  • Learn basic electronic troubleshooting (circuits, code, power supply, etc)

Robotics with Arduino: Shield-Bot & Uno

This course includes the Robot Shield with Arduino Uno, providing a robotics and electronics foundation for or Arduino-based tech programs.

Hosted in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, this robot is also supported by our Shield-Bot Tutorial Series.

New Parallax Website!

We have a brand new website to bring you all the latest and greatest Parallax has to offer. Not to worry, our old site is still available and can be accessed at https://www1.parallax.com!