To be successful in the 21st century, students must have a fundamental knowledge of complex networks which allows them to explore the interconnectedness of our world. Network science, a relatively new field of study, represents a fundamental shift away from reductionism to a more complex real world approach to problem solving which looks at interactions between components as well as the components themselves in a system.
It is a tool that assists researchers and students to make connections needed to solve complex challenges and integrate abstract ideas. While this field has primarily engaged students at a graduate level, recently a growing number of new undergraduate courses have been offered and for a small number of high school students there have been opportunities to participate research. However, initiatives have reached a relatively small number of students. In an effort to bring network thinking to more students, a professional development course was developed to introduce more teachers to network science and show how it can be utilized as a multi-disciplinary tool within their current curriculum.