The First International Experience Programming in Quorum Workshop (EPIQ)

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What Is the EPIQ Workshop?

The Experience Programming in Quorum (EPIQ) Workshop is an international professional development workshop for educators to learn the foundational skills necessary to teach students computer science using the Quorum programming language. Click on the Sign up form if you would like to apply.

What is Quorum?

Quorum is a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) based programming language that was invented by Dr. Andreas Stefik and others. Check the primary Quorum Website for more information.

Who can attend?

Any educator (K-12 or post-secondary) with an interest in learning about an exciting, fully-accessible programming language and how to teach it to ALL students, including students with visual impairments and blindness can attend. We do open the workshop to others, but generally give priority to educators.

What do we learn at Epiq?

During the week, you will learn computer programming while working through the student curriculum. You will be provided direct instruction in the programming activities and will also be given resources to implement the curriculum with your students.

What kind of students can learn programming?

We believe that all students can learn to program. This program is accessible to all students. Quorum has been designed and evaluated in scientific, peer-reviewed, studies , providing evidence of its ease of use. Given it is also based on the commercial-scale Java Virtual Machine, a wide variety of commercial applications can be built with the technology (e.g., games, websites). Quorum also has built-in accessibility for students with disabilities, particularly those with visual impairments and blindness.

Where Is Epiq held?

The EPIQ Workshop is held on the campus of the Washington State School for the Blind in Vancouver, WA.

When is Epiq held?

This year, the dates are: July 17-23, 2014

How much does it cost?

We work to accrue external funding to make it possible for teachers to come and learn for free. Corporate sponsors that want to help, should contact the organizers.

Where do we stay and how much does it cost?

Free housing is provided on the campus of the Washington State School for the Blind. Housing is “dorm-style” with each attendee having their own room. The “cottages” have a full kitchen, washer/dryer, and living room. Internet is provided for free throughout the campus. However, there are hotels in the area, if you would prefer to stay off-campus at your own expense. We do not have unlimited space in our free housing, so please apply as soon as possible to ensure you obtain a spot.

What about food?

Breakfast and lunch are provided by the WSSB and provided in the school’s cafeteria. The food is not your “typical” school food and special diets are accommodated.

What about travel to Vancouver, WA?

Vancouver, WA is on the border with Oregon and literally “across the river” from Portland. Air travel is easy in and out of the Portland International Airport. At this time, we are securing funds to provide a select number of applicants with stipends to help cover travel costs. However, stipends are not unlimited and we will base the number we provide on available funding.

What about travel around Vancouver/Portland?

Transportation to and from the airport will be provided by the workshop. The workshop organizers will attempt to provide transportation around the area for dinners, trips to the stores, etc. However, individuals are welcome to rent a car or drive their own cars. Free parking is available.

What will we do all day?

You will work with leading professionals on learning how to program in Quorum while working through the curriculum that you would use with your students. Your presenters will include the inventor of the language, Dr. Andreas Stefik, along with other leading professionals. Days typically start around 8:00am (breakfast) and end around 4:00pm each day. We provide ample breaks and a sizable lunch break.

What will we do in the evenings?

That is your choice! You can plan a trip with fellow travelers and go see the local sights. Or, go explore the local cuisine in the Vancouver/Portland area. Or, order a pizza, sit in the living room, and relax with friends. Portland is a cool town, so lots of potential activities are available.

Do we do anything together for fun?

This year, we are planning a day-trip to some local sites as part of the workshop. Plan to enjoy visiting a piece of the beautiful Northwest!

What is the weather like there during July?

July is a wonderful time to be in this area of the country. The highs are around 80 with lows in the mid-50s. It is typically sunny and the area is lovely with its flowers blooming all around. Portland is known as the “Rose City” for a reason!

Why else should I come?

Did we mention that during this time you will be introduced to wonderful fellow educators from around the world? For teachers of the visually impaired (TVIs), this is an opportunity to be surrounded by like-minded people all working to provide their students with excellent learning opportunities.

So what do I do now?

Apply! The applications will be processed and reviewed by the EPIQ organizers. Depending on funding levels, we will invite as many participants as possible. However, travel honorariums are based upon funding amounts and applicant qualifications.

My question still isn't answered. How do I get help?

We recommend visiting the Quorum Google Group or Quorum Facebook page first. If you still can't get help, you can Send an email to the Epiq organizers.