UCCI Institutes: Spring 2014 Recap

hard-working teachers create engaging new courses at the spring 2014 ucci institutes

April 18, 2014

We are back from the Spring 2014 UCCI Institutes, and as always, we are still up in the clouds with excitement about the inspiring teachers we met and the fantastic courses they created. Six course development teams worked collaboratively to create the frameworks for new UC Curriculum Integration courses that blend the following academic and CTE content areas:


  • English ("b") with Information and Communication Technologies
  • Math ("c") with Information and Communication Technologies
  • Math ("c") with Engineering and Architecture
  • Lab Science ("d") with Engineering and Architecture 


The Spring 2014 UCCI Institutes course developers were remarkably creative, talented, congenial and fun. As participant Kathleen Diver, Biology Teacher and Site Staff Development Chair at Los Osos High School put it, "The significant work we did to develop a course that can be used in high schools all across California was made infinitely better by the team work and camaraderie we had as a group. It was so cool to be in a room where all others contributed to the whole process in a variety of ways. Our different strengths became the cornerstone of our final product." Her fellow teammate, Josh Reyman, who teaches science at ABLE Charter High School added, "The UCCI Institute was invaluable to my development as a professional educator. The institute allowed me to collaborate at a high level with exceptional teachers, and to learn while doing. The process of curriculum development that I learned at UCCI will help me create and implement engaging lessons for my students for years to come."

Comments like these always delight us and remind us that the experience of the UCCI Institutes is one that is transformative for those who participate with us. And we know that the courses they create are transformative for students. All of us on the UCCI team feel lucky to do what we do.

This slideshow, which played during the Saturday night dinner celebrating the teams' hard work at the Institutes, captures the fun, intensity, and rewards associated with participating in the work of collaborative integrated course design:

The spring Institutes concluded Sunday, April 13, with a presentation introducing these six newly-created courses:

  • Form Follows Functions - Integrated Math 1 and Architecture introduces students to the architectural design process, applying algebraic and geometric practices to the design of residential and community structures and a planned green community.
  • Integrated Mathematics II /Robotics and Computing, focuses on computer programs and robotics systems, allowing students to solve real world mathematics problems using computational thinking.
  • Modeling Your World #math #programming is s an Integrated Mathematics III and Software Development course that explores the world of computer programming through the mathematical modeling of concepts such as polynomials, logarithms, exponentials, functions, statistics, trigonometry, and rational expressions.
  • Chemistry and Environmental Engineering: Water We Doing? introduces students to the principles of chemistry and environmental engineering through an understanding of the behavior of water and its interactions with the environment. Students will use a systems-based approach to understand that all environmental systems consist of matter and will apply this knowledge to solving current and future global water issues.
  • GameCraft: English 10 with Game Development exposes students to the Gaming Pathway of the Information and Communication Technology sector. Fictional and expository readings teach students about conflict and elements of storytelling, all necessary components of video game design. Writing assignments focus on narrative, expository, and persuasive topics to give students an opportunity to improve the writing skills they will need to begin conceptually designing video games. 
  • Writing Games for Social Change is a 9th grade course that allows students to see where the skills of English intersect with the elements of game design. In doing so, Writing Games for Social Change increases student engagement with the academic subject of English, while also giving them a more comprehensive understanding of a career field that interests them, specifically game design.

The courses produced at the Spring 2014 Institutes are currently being reviewed for “a-g” approval. Approved courses earn program status, which means any school in California can add a UCCI course to its UC course list without further review. You can view all UC-approved UCCI courses on our UCCI course catalog.

As always,the Institutes were a dynamic mix of returning course developers and facilitators as well as newcomers, providing many opportunities for building and strengthening a community of educators who can continue to share ideas and collaboration throughout their teaching careers.

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“I've gained more from this institute in regards to curriculum development than any other program I've been associated with in my 12 years of teaching.” 

- Aaron Lemos, Spring 2013 UCCI Institutes