CSEdWeek: Ideas to Fit Your Schedule

The November Voice is full of great advocacy ideas. Be sure to check it out! (csta.acm.org/Communications/sub/CSTAVoice_Files/csta_voice_11_2015.pdf)

CSEdWeek is quickly approaching and it’s likely that you already have some great projects planned for the week of December 7–13. But if not, here are a few ideas, small to large, to fit the time you have.

You will find many more ideas and resources at csedweek.org, hourofcode.com/us, and csta.acm.org. Great projects can be used any time of the year so don’t limit your computer science (CS) education advocacy ideas to just one week in December.

Pledge your support for CSEdWeek and start planning how you will fuel the future with CS education at csedweek.org/csteacher

15 Minutes:

30 Minutes: 

  • Assign students to ask their families to spend an entire day without using any computing technology (including no car, microwave, or digital television) and record their experiences. Discuss their findings in class the next day and relate to CS careers.
  • Prepare a showcase of student computing projects.
  • Offer a lunch break “CS Escape” once a week or once a month to invite non-CS students to “play” with CS concepts and tools such as CSUnplugged, Scratch, AppInventor, or Kodu.
  • Schedule your students to take turns in the cafeteria or student commons to demonstrate cool CS projects from your class.
  • Learn a few “magic tricks” to spark up your introduction to CS concepts. www.cs4fn.org/magic
  • Redecorate your classroom with new posters among the many available from CSTA or code.org. csta.acm.org/Resources/sub/BrochuresPostersVideos.html

1 Hour: 

  • Participate in Hour of Code. csedweek.org/educate/hoc
  • Invite former students who are college CS majors to visit your classroom to tell about the exciting things they are learning. 
  • Assign cross-curricular projects. Ask other teachers to allow your student to “show off” their computing version of the assignment.
  • Submit proposals to share your innovative CS teaching strategies at conferences.
  • Encourage your CS students to host an open house for other students.
  • Contact your local government representative to ask for support in having December 8–14 proclaimed CSEdWeek.
  • Engage students in playing a matching game of inspiring CS quotes to famous people. Expand into an assignment on CS careers. code.org/quotes
  • Explore the resources from the Computer Science Collaboration Project to find Exemplary Practices for Engaging Hispanic/Latino(a) Youth in CS ideas. www.cscproject.org/node/162

3+ Hours: 

  • Arrange a field trip to a local high-tech company or corporate IT department; invite parents also.
  • Plan CS projects that involve “social causes.” Recruit community members to serve as “clients” for your students.
  • Host a parents’ night that showcases the fun, exciting, and meaningful career opportunities in computing and debunks the myths about the dwindled IT job market.
  • Plan a CS exploration day for potential students and parents. Gather ideas from programs such as Computer Mania. www.computer-mania.info
  • Look for technology contests to showcase your students’ ideas such as the ACSL, Google Code-in, Aspirations in Computing, Imagine Cup and others. www.acsl.org, www.google-melange.com, www.aspirations.org, www.imaginecup.com
  • Investigate ways to engage underrepresented students in computing. www.ncwit.org/resources
  • Form an advisory team of students, parents, other teachers and administrators, business leaders, and others to plan CS promotion projects in your community year round.