Providing resources for educators and students that need them most has been an essential component of our Earn Your Future and now, our Access Your Potential commitments.
For Earn Your Future, we created financial literacy modules for grades K-12 on topics such as saving and investing, career exploration and planning and money management. This curriculum is composed of easy-to-follow lesson plans accompanied by engaging activities.
With Access Your Potential, we’re broadening our focus to include technology and career-selection skills so students can succeed as members of the workforce of the future. Our curriculum focuses on middle school students covering tech skills topics such as cybersecurity, data analytics, web and app development and internet of things.
We encourage educators, community advocates and volunteers to teach and share our curriculum.
We’ve collaborated with Code.org to create a new technology skills and careers curriculum for middle school students. Lesson summaries by topic are included below. To access the materials, check out Code.org’s site at www.code.org/pwc
Problem solving - Personal Innovations: This lesson is about getting students excited and connecting their own personal interests to computer science. Students are asked to share something they know a lot about and teach it to a small group. Groups make a “rapid” prototype of an innovative idea and share it. Students watch a brief video about computing innovations.
Technology Foundations - What is a Computer?: In this lesson students develop a preliminary definition of a computer. To begin the lesson, the class will brainstorm possible definitions for a computer and place the results of this brainstorm on the board. Next, students will work in groups to sort pictures into “is a computer” or “is not a computer” on poster paper. Groups will place their posters around the room and briefly explain their motivations for choosing some of their most difficult categorizations.
Data Science & Analytics - Problem Solving with Big Data: In this lesson, students look at how data is collected and used by organizations to solve problems in the real world. Then students are presented two scenarios that could be solved using data and brainstorm the types of data they would want to solve them and how they could collect the data. Each problem is designed to reflect a real-world service that exists. After brainstorming, students watch a video about a real-world service and record notes about what data is collected by the real-world service and how it is used.
Programming - Hour of Code: In this lesson, learners of all ages get an introductory experience with coding and computer science and the potential careers these skills can lead to. Students have the opportunity to choose a number of Hour of Code lessons from Minecraft to Star Wars to Frozen. All lessons provide the opportunity for students to learn the basics of coding in a fun and engaging way.
Cybersecurity - Simple Encryption: In this lesson, students are introduced to the need for encryption and simple techniques for breaking (or cracking) secret messages. Students try their own hand at cracking a message encoded with the classic Caesar cipher and also a Random Substitution Cipher. The most important aspect of this lesson is to understand how and why encryption plays a role in all of our lives every day on the Internet, and that making good encryption is not trivial.
Internet of Things - User Center Design (coming soon): This lesson guides students through an abbreviated version of the design process they will be seeing throughout this unit. Students first brainstorm a list of potential users of smart clothing. As a class, they then group these ideas into broad categories and each group will choose one category of user. Groups repeat this process to brainstorm needs or concerns of their user, eventually categorizing these needs and choosing one to focus on. Finally, students design a piece of smart clothing, using the specific needs and concerns they brainstormed to guide their decision making.
Web Development - Exploring websites (coming soon): Every website has a purpose, a reason someone created it and others use it. In this lesson, students will start to consider the purposes a website might serve, both for the users and the creators. Students will explore a handful of the most-used websites in the United States and try to figure out how each of those sites is useful for users and how they might also serve their creators.
Family and Adult learning modules are available in Spanish.
Please note the translated curricula are updated periodically and may vary slightly from the English version.