Special Projects

If you're interested in any of these special projects, please get in touch!


Coding & Robotics Workshops for K-12 Teachers

Any teacher can – and should - teach coding and 21st century skills. Most countries have already included computational thinking and coding in their national curricula. We help ordinary teachers to become expert teachers of coding. Our coding camp for teachers is a hands-on introduction to a pedagogical model on how to teach coding and robotics in a cross-disciplinary way in the K-12 grades.

For whom is this workshop ideal?

Class teachers and subject teachers in K-12 education - and all teachers who wish to evolve their classroom instructional practice to include coding or robotics, we offer this workshop at the beginner and intermediate levels. No prior experience in coding or robotics is required - but we do offer new perspectives and advanced projects for those who already teach coding. You will receive relevant teaching materials to support the facilitation of cross-curricular coding and robotics projects at your school.

What will be covered during our workshops?

Our workshops show how inputs such as ultrasonic sensors, motors, and infrared sensors work within a robotics kit - and how these inputs are used to build a wide variety of finished robots. By learning how each input works, you will gain a strong understanding of the components that comprise each robot you build. Elementary school teachers will work with Lego WeDo 2, while middle school teachers will work with Lego WeDo 2, Lego Mindstorms 2.0, and Lego Mindstorms EV3. High school teachers will work with Lego Mindstorms 2.0, Lego Mindstorms EV3, and MakeBlock mBot.

"Future Learning" and Leadership in Finland and Estonia

Today’s education requires a new narrative that offers a successful, sustainable future for our children. The traditional way of teaching does not equip our children with all the competencies needed for their future. Our environment is changing rapidly - and yet we try to meet big problems using traditional approaches. Exhibit A: Covid. The pandemic has disrupted our everyday life. Covid has upended the learning environment, but we don’t rethink, reimagine. Let’s do so: Let’s use this inflection point to embrace Finland’s ‘future learning’ concept - national, state, and local levels. The premise of ‘future learning’: A holistic approach. We must educate our children holistically. Life is not split into subjects - neither must learning be split.. Learning should be an open, flexible, creative, and collaborative process. It should place students in the center, and emphasize students’ agency. The City of Helsinki’s Head of Education Development Services will present our ‘future learning’ workshop. Our goals:

  • Introduce Finnish global education and how it leads the world in curriculum design and reform.
  • Define future learning and leadership.
  • Analyze the impact of the “future learning and leadership” model on
    legacy and market-based schools alike.
  • Illustrate the opportunities that a “future learning and leadership”
    model presents for societal growth more broadly.

Model Kyoto

Alterra offers Model Kyoto, a rigorous 5-day interactive academic experience for students and teaching faculty interested in grappling with the major environmental issues of our time. In many respects, Model Kyoto mirrors the goals of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol; the Copenhagen conference, where in 2009 many United Nations member states committed to targets for sustainable energy use and climate change remediation; and the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference (COP21), held in Paris. Model Kyoto emphasizes the importance for schools of incorporating global environmental perspectives into curriculum.  Alterra, in collaboration with leading climate experts, plays a moderating role, supporting both students and teachers as they evaluate how best to apply climate change perspectives to curriculum.

Girls' Leadership Conference

Girls' Summer Leadership Program: A Student-Teacher Visit to India

This unique program has now run successfully on several occasions. It features students and their teachers grappling with issues of import to women and girls, together.  It will continue to be run annually during spring and summer breaks, from 2023 and well into the future. We visit Indian girls’ schools. We hear from powerful Indian women leaders. We grapple with how, why, and to what extent Indian women and girls are helping to build 21st-century India.

Who is the ideal participant?

This program appeals especially to US girls’ schools. India faces its own gender challenges, even as the national government and civil society do their best to promote gender equality. Also, because this program’s components are structured to stimulate student-teacher intellectual interaction, a delegation of students, classroom teachers, department heads, deans, and school heads makes an ideal mix. Alterra has extensive experience designing and administering cust­omized educational programs for girls. Girls’ schools that have participated in our pro­grams include Chatham Hall, St. Timothy’s School, Marlborough School, Hamlin School, Agnes Irwin School, Springside-Chestnut Hill, St. Catherine’s School, and Hathaway Brown.