Building a Bridge between High Performance Computing and the School Classroom

Kris Stewart
Associate Professor, Math & Computer Sciences
San Diego State Univeristy
and Computational Science Curriculum Coordinator
San Diego Supercomputer Center

Ernest L. Boyer Technology Summit for Educators
Los Angeles CA
April 25-26, 1997
NOTE: these pages updated 8/15/98 to reflect new host for STEP home page

Sponsored by:
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Hosted by:
California State University
EC^2, the Annenberg Incubator Project at USC

This URL is

Note: there are many links contained in this page but the hard copy being distributed at the Summit does not have them underlined, because they are distracting. When you use your browser with the URL above, the links will be distinguishable.


Dr. Cheryl Lampe of the CSU Chancellor Academic Planning Office invited Dr. Stewart to participate in the Ernest Boyer Technology Summit due to her work with high school science and math teachers in San Diego county. An article in SDSCwire gives (a) background on this summit and (b) Stewart's presentation.

Kris then invited Rose McKeon of SDSC to join her to present the SDSC Science Discovery Web Site.

Technology and Teacher Education

Dr. Kris Stewart will give an interactive demonstration of materials from the NSF funded Supercomputer Teacher Enhancement Program (STEP). Last year, Stewart was invited to Washington, D.C. for the induction of STEP into the Smithsonian Institution's Permanent Research Collection on Information, Technology and Society, in the Education and Academia Division.

STEP provided in-service preparation in computational science for teams of secondary science and math teachers from twenty schools in San Diego County. The program built on tools available in the typical high school classroom. Beginning in 1991, extensive use of the Internet to augment the learning environment in the classroom has been successfully implemented, as evidenced by the Smithsonian achievement mentioned above and the individual work of the teachers participating in STEP.

Stewart led the program at its inception in 1991 and designed the first three years of summer workshops to construct a solid bridge between the High Performance Computing facilities at the San Diego Supercomputer Center and the varied (and evolving) levels of technology in the individual school classroom. A solid team of teachers emerged who were confident in their skills to innovate and make a difference for their students and their peers. Lessons were learned by all.

The interactive Web Page work from 1995 and 1996 is due to Dr. Don Anderson of the University of California, San Diego. UCSD is the campus where the SDSC is located. Using the Web in High School Science & Math Education (1995) and follow the on workshop in 1996 are excellent places to start learning about this evolving technology.

Stewart will work dynamically from the home pages developed by some of the teachers in the STEP program. From the recent April 12, 1997, Academic Year meeting a sampling was selected. This presentation is a subset of the extensive research done by this fantastic group of teachers. Please stay tuned to the STEP home page.

A Recent Snapshot of STEPpers Innovations (4/24/97)

Rose McKeon is an artist who has worked with the scientists at the SDSC to produce a web site, Science Discovery, which uses chemistry, biology and environmental science examples to define the broad scope of computational science and scientific visualization. Science Discovery promotes an understanding of the exciting possibilities of computational science to a wide audience, including teachers, students and parents.