Welcome to the Silicon Prairie!

The 2018 CSTA Annual Conference is only days away, and I am looking forward to welcoming everyone to Omaha. We have an exciting conference planned, with workshops on Saturday and Sunday (along with a Chapter Leader Summit), birds-of-a-feather session on Sunday afternoon, and keynotes and sessions on Monday and Tuesday. There are numerous social and networking events, including a big reception on Sunday evening and a tour/reception at the University of Nebraska Omaha on Monday. This looks to be a record-breaking conference in a number of ways (no spoilers) and we locals are working to make it the friendliest as well.

Some last-minute pieces of advice as you prepare to come to Omaha:

  1. The convention center and conference hotels are only 3 miles from the Eppley International Airfield, and both the Hilton and Marriott have free shuttles. If you choose a cab or ride-share, we are still talking 5-10 minutes to get from one to the other. Pay attention on you ride from the airport and you will notice that you briefly pass from Nebraska into Iowa and then back to Nebraska. It’s an interesting historical fact that the Missouri River, which forms the boundary between the two states, changed its course in 1877, leaving a small piece of Iowa stranded on the Nebraska side.
  2. There is a lot to see and do around the convention center and hotels. If you are a baseball fan, TD Ameritrade Park, where the College World Series is held every year, is just next door. There are restaurants, bars and a movie theater adjacent to the park. The Marriott is connected to the new Capitol District, which also has restaurants, bars and shops and an outdoor social space. Within easy walking distance is the Old Market district, which has all kinds of dining, shopping and social establishments. If you are considering dinner some evening, I would recommend getting reservations ahead of time, as it is a busy place.
  3. If you have time to explore Omaha, I would recommend downloading the Omaha Savings app from the Omaha Visitors Center (https://www.visitomaha.com/savingsapp/). It has discounts on museums, restaurants, and the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium. The Doorly Zoo has been named the #1 zoo in the world by TripAdvisor, and is well worth the trip (it is 6 miles from downtown, and can be reached using the hotel shuttle). My institution, Creighton University, is less than a mile to the west of the conference hotels. It is a beautiful urban campus, so if you are looking to stretch your legs, I would recommend checking it out. We will have maps of the downtown area available at registration.
  4. This has been a hot summer across the country, and Omaha has been no exception. The weather forecast calls for highs in the upper 80’s and lower 90’s. Currently, there is no rain in the long-term forecast, but that can certainly change. If you are staying in the Hilton, there is an enclosed walkway that goes directly to the convention center, so you won’t have to go outside if you don’t want to. The Marriott is on the adjacent block, and many other hotels are close by as well. Plan to bring some warm-weather clothes and get out. In addition to the Old Market, you’ll want to walk across the award-winning pedestrian bridge that crosses the Missouri River to Iowa. There are many walking and bike paths along the river and over on the Iowa side. There are several bike rental stations in the downtown area, including one right by the pedestrian bridge.
  5. Omaha is a clean, vibrant, and friendly Midwestern city. The population in the metropolitan area is around 930K, but it still has the feel of a small-town. The area also has a rapidly growing tech-sector, earning it the title Silicon Prairie. If you have never visited here before, I know you will find Omaha welcoming and engaging. Enjoy your time here!

On a personal note, this meeting marks the end of my term on the CSTA Board of Directors. I have made so many great friends and colleagues over the past nine years, and want to thank you all for the hard work and passion you bring to CS education. I look forward to continuing to work with you all, and I know that CSTA’s future is bright with Jake and Fred at the helm.

JRN, Journalism, Media, Computing faculty members

Dave Reed
CSTA Board Member, Past-Chair

Reflections on the NCWIT Summit

Last week, I attended the annual summit of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT). (CSTA executive director Jake Baskin was there too.) The NCWIT summit is a meeting of about 700 people who are involved in the activities of NCWIT – K-12, higher education, workforce. It’s a working meeting – people come to discuss and learn ways to effectively increase the meaningful participation of women and girls in computing-related fields. It also always includes several inspiring keynote talks related to diversity, ranging from motivational to scholarly.

One thing that always has been special about NCWIT is the active participation of men as well as women. The issue of striving to improve the involvement of women and girls in IT is crucial to all of us in computing and to our entire society, and requires the involvement of all of us. The gender breakout at the summit reflected this.

Two of the keynote talks at the summit embraced this theme of shared responsibility and took it further. One, by Dr. Jackson Katz, addressed the more general issues of sexual harassment and gender violence by men towards women, and their hugely harmful effects that can go well beyond the people directly involved. The speaker stressed the responsibility of men not only not to behave like this, but to not tolerate this behavior by other men. Another keynote talk by well-known sociopolitical comedian Kamau Bell addressed racism in the United States, with an analogous message: the responsibility of Caucasian Americans not only to not behave in this manner but to stand up to this behavior by others.

How do these messages impact all of us, particularly educators in K-12 and other settings? Very directly. We each have the responsibility to assure that all voices are given equal opportunities to be heard, in our classrooms and in our professional meetings. We also need to model inclusive behavior, and to stand up to behavior that is discriminatory. Ideally, we will do this not by shaming, but by making responses that sustain a positive environment and often, create a teachable moment. Doing this in the heat of the moment isn’t easy and can be aided by some preparation, such as the NCWIT resource https://www.ncwit.org/resources/interrupting-bias-academic-settings or many resources that have become available on “Bystander Training”.

Bobby Schnabel, Partner Representative

CS for All Means All Y’All

Right about now you should be thinking how great it is to be a K-12 CS educator.  If not, let me give you a few reasons.  How terrific it was to hear that President Donald Trump had re-purposed $200 million dollars at the US Department of Education to support STEM Education, including K-12 computer science education programs.  Women, minorities, and students in rural communities will particularly benefit from this presidential memorandum.  That’s exactly what we are talking about when we champion “CSforAll.”  And to sweeten the pot, a coalition of tech businesses including Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, and many others agreed to give $300 million spread over the next five years to boost K-12 computer science programs.  So, it really is a great time to be a CS educator!

If you need more proof that it is a great time to be a CS educator, on October 16 and 17, over 170 organizations made new commitments to support CSforAll students.  These pledges were celebrated by a stakeholder community of educators and other supporters at the 2017 CSforAll Summit in St. Louis, Missouri.   You can view those commitments in this pdf Fact Sheet to see how many of our long-time friends and supporters are in the list and how many, many more you might not have known about.  CSTA made a commitment to continue to promote the new CSTA K-12 CS Standards broadly so that all states and school systems have rigorous models for their own standards and to work with 3-5 CSTA chapters to help them establish their CS program while developing state standards and supporting CS teachers.  Did you make a new commitment to support CSforAll students?  If not, why not do one now?  After all, it’s a great time to be a K-12 CS educator!

And, speaking of commitments, have you made a pledge for 2017 CS Education WeekCS Ed Week is December 4 – 10, 2017.  What a great time to champion CS education, celebrate Grace Hopper’s birthday (December 9), and introduce students to computer science.  It’s a great week for elementary/middle school educators to partner with high school students and educators to show the younger students how great CS is and to allow the older students to share their enthusiasm.  This year, CSTA is partnering with Family Code Night to encourage parents to join their children in coding at their local school—another great way to interest younger students in CS education.  Plan to participate in Family Code Night (or even better to help organize Family Code Night events in your community).  After all, it’s a great time to be a K-12 CS educator.  And, as we say in the south, All means All Y’all!

We know you are all doing spectacular work in your own schools, school systems, and CSTA chapters.  We look forward to reading about what you are doing to promote and bring CS education to all students.

Deborah Seehorn , CSTA Interim Executive Director

Vintage Computer Festival — five events this year!

If you’re looking for novel ways of inspiring students, then consider giving them some hands-on exposure to the past at a Vintage Computer Festival event.

Vintage Computer Festivals are a series of family-friendly events celebrating computer history. The event formed in the 1990s and gradually spread to other parts of the country and into Europe. Each event has an exhibit hall where anyone can see and try out historic computers from the 1960s-1980s. There are also keynote speeches by celebrities and VIPs, technical classes, tours of nearby museums, consignment sales, and more.

Upcoming editions include VCF East (April 15-17, New Jersey) and VCF West (August 6-7, Silicon Valley). Children enter free for most of the event.

These events are the only place where your students can see things such as a 1960s DEC minicomputer, 1970s systems such as an Altair 8800 or Apple-1, and all manner of 1980s eight-bitters — all up-and-running. Take a learn-to-solder class, play a round of Zork, see a UNIVAC mainframe, and learn how to load BASIC from paper tape.There’s no better way to make students appreciate modern smartphones than to see an 800-pound Cray supercomputer or boot a Commodore 64 into a flashing cursor prompt.

The series producer is Vintage Computer Federation which is a 501(c)3 educational non-profit. In addition to the shows, the Federation also owns the Vintage Computer Forum online discussion site, incubates regional chapters, and operates its own hands-on computer museum.

– Evan Koblentz, president, Vintage Computer Federation





Introducing CSPdWeek

We shine a spotlight on CS education for students each December during CSEdWeek. Why not do the same with a perennial offering for CS professional development for teachers?

After all, professional development has long been recognized as one of the key ingredients in CS education. Bringing even one PD provider to train a handful of teachers and counselors in a small district is prohibitively expensive, and even the smallest school district will need multiple solutions to implement the dream of CS4All. One way to solve this problem is with grants and sponsorships, subsidizing local workshops for a handful of teachers at a time. However, this only solves part of the issue–even with limitless dollars, scheduling constraints make it extremely difficult to bring multiple providers in at the same time. This makes it nearly impossible for most districts to adopt the broad mix of offerings that are necessary to increase diverse participation in computing. In other words, coordination can be just as large a bottleneck as funding.

CSEdWeek is a model for coordinated advocacy. Schools in a district, in a state, and across the country effectively leverage funding and volunteer efforts at the same time every year. It’s time to do the same for professional development, and this is the impetus and foundation for CSPdWeek.

The first annual CSPdWeek is this July 18th-22nd, 2016 – find out more at www.CSPdWeek.org!

CSPdWeek Events

An inaugural event, offering PD from Bootstrap, NCWIT Counselors for Computing, AP CS Principles, and Exploring Computing Science will be held during the week of July 18-22nd at Colorado School of the Mines. The event is sponsored by the Infosys Foundation USA, with additional support from the National Science Foundation, The National Center for Women & Information Technology, and the Computer Science Teachers Association. We invite teachers and counselors from across the US to apply for full funding (covering travel, food, lodging and PD), with an emphasis on those working in high-needs schools. Join nearly 300 educators from across the country, and spend the first CSPdWeek with us in Golden, Colorado!

Can’t make it to Golden? That’s okay! CSPdWeek is for everyone, and we encourage other PD providers to offer their own professional development events during the week. Professional development matters, and will be a crucial component of CS4All. By staking out one week during the summer, and coordinating our efforts, we can amplify the impact of everyone in our community.

It’s going to be an incredible summer, and we hope you’ll join us in celebrating CSPdWeek 16!
Owen Astrachan (CS Principles)
Gail Chapman (Exploring Computer Science)
Joanna Goode (Exploring Computer Science)
Jane Krauss (NCWIT Counselors for Computing)
Emmanuel Schanzer (Bootstrap)

Are You Ready for Computer Science Education Week?

As I write this blog post, I am in the middle of planning for Computer Science Education Week. I have prepared my Eventbrite site (http://2015-hour-of-code-shhs.eventbrite.com) and have emailed the link to the principals of the neighboring schools. This year will be the third year that my computer science students and I have hosted a community Hour of Code event at the high school for elementary and junior high students.

Last year I was so overwhelmed with the number of attendees, I have decided to move the event from the two adjoining computer labs to the library where I can better manage a large group. I will have stations for each age group and a marker station where the students will create a light-up Christmas card. Laura Blankenship (CSTA board member) helped me with some suggestions. I also found on line the directions for a Christmas tree card (https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/let-it-glow-holiday-cards )that I plan on using.

I am also planning on setting up three tables with old computers that can be taken apart. I will have index cards with pictures of the main parts and an explanation of their purpose. My students will be preparing the cards.

Finally, there will be stations setup by age groups for students to use the code.org tutorials (https://code.org/learn). The Computer Science students are looking forward to helping with the event.

For the high school student event, I have a local college student who will come to class to discuss her internship at an aerospace company and her experience as a college student. I have also requested skype calls from professionals in the computing industry at https://education.microsoft.com/connectWithOthers/techguestspeakers. I had two speakers last year that worked for Microsoft and they were so patient with my students! I will also play the morning announcement created by CSTA on Monday, December 7, announcing Computer Science Education Week (http://csta.acm.org/Advocacy_Outreach/sub/CSEdWeek.html). On the same webpage are video announcements if you have that feature available at your school.

I have another Hour of Code event planned for lunch for students on campus with my Computer Science students assisting. Additionally, my school district will be honoring Computer Science students at the school board meeting on December 8 in honor of Computer Science Education Week.

I am looking forward to a busy but exciting week.

Please share your plans for Computer Science Education Week.

Myra Deister
CSTA At-Large Representative

RESPECT for Diversity (in Computing)

Last week I had the honor and pleasure of attending the 10th annual STARS Celebration collocated with the first annual RESPECT Celebration in Charlotte, NC. STARS Computing Corps is a community of practice for student-led regional engagement as a means to broaden participation in computing.  RESPECT is the acronym for Research on Equity and Sustained Participation in Engineering, Computing, and Technology.

The celebrations highlighted the widespread and diverse efforts to broaden participation in computing (BPC). NSF was a proud sponsor of the celebrations along with Google, IT-ology, Duke Energy, Bank of America, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of South Carolina, UNC-Charlotte, and others. In addition to the many rising “stars” in computing education from the colleges and universities as well as high schools, the attendees included many well-known computer science educators. The sessions for the RESPECT attendees included engaging presentations of research on diversity in computing, a panel discussion on why we can and should keep diversity in focus during the college/university surge in CS enrollment, and lightning talks. Friday evening’s highlight was a STARS and RESPECT reception at Discovery Place—featuring food and fun with interactive science exhibits in addition to the RESPECT poster session.

The STARS attendees had ample choices among sessions addressing mentoring, professional preparation for students, outreach, and sessions of interest to faculty members. The STARS participants also participated in a Career Fair sponsored by IT-ology and a parallel STARS poster competition. The Saturday sessions for STARS participants focused on topics in mentoring, professional, outreach, grad school, sustainability and a track for faculty as well as a track for high school students and teachers. Several CSTA members were in attendance on Saturday and brought their students with them to participate.

The opening keynote address was delivered by Richard Ladner, Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, who presented a fascinating discussion about accessibility in computing education (you may have met Richard at the CSTA Annual Conference in Dallas). Richard is the PI for the NSF-funded AccessComputing Alliance dedicated to increasing participation of students with disabilities in computing fields. He is also a PI for the NSF-funded AccessCS10K, which has a goal of preparing K-12 teachers to be more inclusive in their computing courses, particularly ECS and CSP, of students with disabilities.

The Friday lunch featured a BPC Fireside Chat presented by representatives from Special Technical Community on Broadening Participation (STCBP), Computing Research Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W), CDC, the Computing Alliance for Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI), the Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) Alliance, AccessComputing, Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in Information Technology (CMD-IT), STARS, the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), and the Institute for African-American Mentoring in Computing Sciences (IAAMCS). The presenters represented the multitude of organizations devoted to broadening participation in computer science and the collaborative relationship among the organizations. Conference participants were given an overview of each organization and the resources that each organization provides to broaden participation.

The keynote on Saturday was presented by Teresa Dahlberg, Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University. Teresa was co-founder of the STARS Computing Corps and presented a brief history of the organization.

This was a great conference for me. In addition to thoroughly enjoyable and interesting presentations, the conference served to bring broadening participation in computing back to the forefront—though it has never been far from it. This is a critical focus for computing for many reasons. Working together, we can accomplish the BPC goal. As you begin another academic year, take some time to reflect on how you are broadening participation of women and underrepresented minorities as well as those with disabilities, in your computing program. If you are a K-12 educator, have you considered partnering with a STARS member at a local university? Have you attended Tapestry Workshops? Have you taken time to visit the websites of the groups mentioned in this blog post to see what resources may be available to you? If you are a college or university educator, have you considered adopting the STARS Leadership Corps model for service learning? Have you joined the STARS Online Community? In short, what are you doing to actively promote broadening participation in your computing program? This post provides you with ample resources to do just that.

Deborah Seehorn, CSTA Board of Directors Past Chair















An extra reason for you to head south this July!

July is probably the most important month in the CSTA agenda: it is the time of year when computer science teachers from all over the world join to exchange ideas and practices while attending the premier professional development event tailored specifically to their needs.

This year, the CSTA Annual Conference will take place from July 12th to 14th in Grapevine, Texas; the lineup of workshops and presentations is so stimulating that many of us will have a hard time choosing which concurrent session to attend! But this year there’s an extra reason to head south, that many attendees may not be aware of: it so happens that this year the Annual Conference of Wikimedia* enthusiasts from all over the world will be held from July 15th to 19th in Mexico City, Mexico.

The conference is aptly named “Wikimania”: ask any long-time Wikimedia editor why and she’ll talk passionately about the values of the largest crowd-sourcing community in the world. I, for one, have been a Wikimedia editor since 2007 and most of my edits have been made in the context of school projects involving students of all ages in Grades 7-12. Over the course of nine school years to date, my classes have gained skills, knowledge, appreciation for teamwork and pride in contributing to five of the total fifteen Wikimedia projects in two different languages; it’s been an absolutely priceless experience, and every year it just gets better.

The Wikimania conference is annually held in a different place in the world since 2005.The conference program encompasses a number of tracks, which means there is always something fascinating going on no matter what your interests are: this year the first two days (15th-16th) will host a Hackathon (or DevCamp), followed by three days of workshops, presentations, quick meetings and much, much more. The tracks that educators will  be most interested in are, no doubt, Education and GLAM (that’s Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums)… and of course, computer science teachers and enthusiasts will be sure to enjoy the hackathon.

Each year the Wikimedia Foundation awards around 100 Wikimania scholarships to active members of the worldwide Wikimedia community to cover travel and accommodation expenses; I am proud to be one of the two Greek Wikimedians who earned a scholarship this year. So, why not join me as I head further South after Texas this July?

All in all, an exciting week of professional development, hacking, learning and sharing (not to mention, tequila parties!) lies ahead this summer… hope to see you in Texas and Mexico:)

More information about registration here (link should be active in a matter of days)… or just drop me a line and I’ll be glad to assist.

Read this post for more about how integrating Wikimedia projects into your classroom can enrich your students’ learning experience.

*Wikimedia is the “umbrella” Foundation for Wikipedia and it’s 15 sister projects.

Mina Theofilatou
CSTA International Representative
Kefalonia, Greece


SIGCSE is the annual conference for the special interest group of ACM that is focused on computer science education. It is always a great event, and if you have never attended, you should put it on your radar for next year! CSTA Board Members and Chapter members will be a presence at SIGCSE this year in many different ways.

Here’s where you can find us:

CSTA Booths #116 and 118 in the Exhibitor Hall.

Helping to pull the whole awesome affair together are John Dougherty (CSTA-Phila) and Ria Galanos (CSTA-VA).


Teaching to Diversity in Computer Science from 1:00pm – 4:30pm with Helen Hu (CSTA-UT).

CS Teaching Tips Tip-A-Thon from 1:00pm – 4:00pm with Stephanie Hoeppner (CSTA Board Member) and many others.


NSF showcase – Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning in CS with Clif Kussmaul (CSTA-Phila), Helen Hu (CSTA-UT) and Daniel Libby.

Computer Science Principles Curricula: On-the-ground, Adoptable, Adaptable, Approaches to Teaching from 1:45pm – 3:00pm with Owen Astrachan (CSTA-Triangle East), Jeff Gray (CSTA-AL) and others.

Supporting the Computer Science Learning Process from 3:45pm – 5:00pm with Pat Yongpradit (CSTA-MD) and others.

BOF – Computer Science Principles: Expanding the Community from 5:30pm –  6:20pm with Owen Astrachan (CSTA-Triangle East), Fran Trees (CSTA Chapter Liaison), Rich Kick (CSTA-Southern CA) and others.

BOF – What Math is the Right Math for Computing? from 5:30pm – 6:20pm with John Dougherty (CSTA-Phila).

BOF – Teaching Algebra and Computing through Bootstrap and Program by Design from  5:30pm – 6:20pm with Emmanuel Schanzer (CSTA member)

BOF – Teaching Algebra and Computing through Bootstrap and Program by Design from 5:30pm – 6:20pm with Emmanuel Schanzer (CSTA member)

BOF – Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) in Computer Science from 5:30pm – 6:20pm with Clif Kussmaul (CSTA-Phila) and Helen Hu (CSTA-UT) and others.

BOF – Partnering to Promote State-by-State Computing Education Reform from 6:30pm – 7:20pm with Barb Ericson (CSTA-GA).

BOF – Addressing Professional Development Needs for K-12 CS – Working with Your Local CSTA Chapter  from 6:30pm – 7:20pm with Dave Reed (CSTA Board Chair-Elect) and Fran Trees (CSTA Chapter Liaison).


Using POGIL Activities to Teach CS Principles to Diverse Students, a Poster by Helen Hu (CSTA-UT)

A Case Study on Adding Computer Science as a Math Graduation Elective: A Report from the Alabama CS/Mathematics Crosswalk Committee, a Poster by Jeff Gray, et al (CSTA-AL)

Research, Resources and Communities: Informal Ed as a Partner in Computer Science Education, a panel with Irene Lee (CSTA Chair Computational Thinking Task Force) from 10:45am – noon

Papers: Focus on K-12 Professional Development with Chinma Uche (CSTA-CT), Terry Harvey and Lori Pollock (CSTA-DE) and Deepa Muralidhar (CSTA-GA) from 1:45pm – 3:00pm

One-Day Activities for K-12 Face-to-Face Outreach (Panel) on Friday from 3:45pm – 5:00pm. Barb Ericson (CSTA-GA) and Jeff Gray (CSTA-AL) are on the panel.

Perspectives on Adopting and Facilitating Guided Inquiry Learning with Helen Hu (CSTA-UT), Clif Kussmaul (CSTA-Phila) and Deepa Muralidhar (CSTA-GA) from 3:45pm – 5:00pm.

Conducting Educational Research in the Computer Science Classroom: Choosing the Appropriate Research Design to Address your Research Questions from 7:00pm – 10:00pm with Aman Yadav (CSTA Board Member)

How to Plan and Run Summer Computing Camps – Logistics #14 from 7:00pm – 10:00pm with Barb Ericson (CSTA-GA)

Small or Liberal Arts Colleges Adapting to CS2013: Making it Work from 7:00pm – 10:00pm with Dave Reed (CSTA Board Chair-Elect)

The Internet, Creativity and Global Impact: Curriculum Modules from 7:00pm – 10:00pm with Andrew Kuemmel (CSTA-WI) and Rich Kick (CSTA-Southern CA)

Infusing Cooperative Learning into Early Computer Science Courses to Support Improved Engagement from 7:00pm – 10:00pm with Jeff Gray (CSTA-AL), Fran Trees (CSTA Chapter Liaison), Owen Astrachan (CSTA-Triangle East)


App Inventor Breakfast is co-hosted by Fred Martin (CSTA Board Member)

Scaling High School Computer Science: Exploring Computer Science and Computer Science Principles from 9:00am – 10:15am with Owen Astrachan (CSTA-Triangle East), Jeff Gray (CSTA-AL), and others.

Decoding CS Principles – A Curriculum from Code.org from 3:00pm – 6:00pm with Baker Franke (CSTA-Chicago) and Pat Yongpradit (CSTA-MD)


CSEdWeek – Looking Back and Looking Ahead

And so we begin a new year. A time to reflect. I have been reflecting on my activities for CSEdWeek. Since the first CSEdWeek in December 2009, I have celebrated the week on my campus trying different activities each year.

For the first CSEdWeek in 2009, I was able to arrange for an after school walking field trip to a nearby business, Hydraflow. It was exciting to see the expressions on my students’ faces as they toured the business and listened to how the company had gone completely paperless!

For the CSEdWeek in 2010, I wanted to do more! I was able to arrange for a walking field trip to Raytheon during the school day. The students were amazed at the “trailer” where equipment was set up to demonstrate a disaster and how Raytheon had built a system where different law enforcement agencies could “talk” to each other even though they were using various type of hardware. A parent from my school also graciously arranged for some employees from his company to speak to my students about how computer science had opened up opportunities for them.

For CSEdWeek 2011 the students once again had the opportunity to tour Raytheon and visit the “trailer” again as well as the outdoor mock-up of a toll system. I also arranged for a student ambassador from University of California, Irvine to visit the class and discuss his experiences as a computer science student in college.

For CSEdWeek 2012, I had asked the school board for my district to recognized CSEdWeek. They agreed to do that and I was asked to select two students to be honored at a board meeting. It was a difficult decision to only select two, but I was happy that I could have these students recognized! Raytheon tour was also a highlight of the week. The students appreciated meeting the wife of one of the school’s science teachers during the Raytheon tour. Additionally, one of my former students dropped by school and spoke to the students about her career working in the CS Field.

Last year we celebrate Hour of Code during CSEdWeek. The local community college assisted with advertising for our community event. There were about 30 community members that attended the event with the computer science students assisting them. Several students commented to me about how much they enjoyed helping others to learn to code. I also held a lunch time birthday party for the students at the high school to celebrate Grace Hopper’s birthday. The school board also recognized CSEdWeek and I selected two students to be recognized.

This year the CS students participated in a community Hour of Code event. I asked the local school principals to advertise the event on their webpages. There was such an overwhelming response that I had to shut down the Eventbrite Site. I continued to receive emails from parents that wanted to attend with their children. They were invited to attend. There were enough reservations to fill two classrooms. I was concerned about supervision until the online teacher contacted me and offered to help. My husband also stopped by and offered his help. We were ready to go! I had set up a poster on smore.com with choices for activities that students could use on the computers in the computer lab. You can view my poster at https://www.smore.com/180ce

Pic1 Pic2 Pic3

In addition to the successful Hour of Code event, the students were able to connect with a Skype employee through Skype in the Classroom program. You can set up a session at https://education.skype.com/. The speakers were great and very patient answering the students’ questions.

The district school board also celebrated CSEd Week at the school board meeting. This year I was able to select three students to be honored. The school principal took picture of the event and uploaded them to the school’s Facebook page.

The week ended with a birthday celebration at lunch. All students were invited and the CS students served cake and assisted the students with Hour of Code activities.

I am looking ahead to next year’s CSEd Week. I plan to hold the community Hour of Code event in the library which the principal has already agreed to. I hope to add a Maker Faire with the help of the Engineering Classes. I will contact the principals at the local elementary and junior high schools to advertise the event and I will use Eventbrite again. Through Eventbrite, I have sent out a survey to this year’s attendees to evaluate and improve the Hour of Code event next year.

What did you plan for CS Week that was a success? I am looking for more activities to add to the week!

Myra Deister, CSTA At-large Representative