Keystone's Computer Science Teacher Newsletter
Are you ready for CS Education Week & Hour of Code?
Dec. 4 - 10, 2023
Gamin’ with Computer Science Keystone Challenge
Do your students LOVE to GAME?? If so, here’s a challenge for them!!
Students will create a game for other students to play to review concepts they are learning. Concepts might include states and capitals, landforms, fractions, types of rocks, food chain, character traits, poetry, etc. The topic and make-up of the game are totally up to you! Select from the platform/language most familiar to your students. (i.e. ScratchJr, Scratch, Python, Code.org’s AppLab, etc.) This challenge can be done individually, in small groups, or as a class.
Players must learn or review classroom concepts through gameplay.
The game must be engaging. ~ I want to play it!~
Submit the Google form with:
A link to your game
The name of your game
A brief description of the game including the subject area and concepts being addressed.
All entries submitted by the end of the day on Dec. 8 will be shared with Keystone AEA schools. Your students will get the opportunity to play games from students at other schools within Keystone AEA.
CS Ed week opportunities happening in Iowa!
Dec. 4, 11:00-Noon - Panel for Secondary Students: "Careers in AI". Use the Careers Panel Registration Link to sign up for this event. Recorded session will be posted after event.
Dec. 5, 11:00-Noon - Panel for Secondary Students: "Pathways to AI Careers". Use the Pathways Panel Registration Link to sign up for this event. Recorded session will be posted.
Dec. 6, 6:30-7:30 - Virtual Family AI Coding Night - Students and families will engage in computer science activities. please use the Virtual Family AI Night Registration Link to sign up. Recorded session will be posted.
Dec. 8, Nutcracker Ballet +STEM event - Nutcracker Overview Flyer with linked registration and activities (hybrid event)
Join in the fun, with numerous Hour of Code activities!
Have you registered your Hour of Code event? Sign up now and get excited—Hour of Code: Creativity with AI is almost here!
Along with the over 100 new Hour of Code activities submitted this year—many of which introduce AI concepts—these standout activities promise to bring joy and surprises to any classroom.
- Dance Party: AI Edition: Students will create their virtual music video set to hit songs from artists including Miley Cyrus, Lil Nas X, Harry Styles, Nicki Minaj, and Rosalía.
- Minecraft Hour of Code 2023: Venture through time to create AI-powered inventions in the new Minecraft Hour of Code: Generation AI. This activity teaches kids ages 9-18 core principles of Microsoft's Responsible AI framework, introducing young learners to the world of coding and emphasizing the importance of responsible AI.
Meet the makers of Dance Party: AI Edition!
Ever wondered what happens behind the scenes of Dance Party? This Hour of Code, you can meet the creators and ask yourself! For the first time ever, they’re inviting students and teachers to a special 30-minute Q&A each day during the week. Whole-school events can get a special shoutout from Code.org co-founder and CEO Hadi Partovi!
Celebrate CS Ed Week with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Academy Activities
Firia Labs invites you to embark on a thrilling coding adventure like no other: The Haunted Code Chronicles. Get ready to unlock the secrets of the cryptic code and unravel the mysteries that lurk in the shadows of the digital realm. It's time to summon your inner coder and join us for an unforgettable Hour of Code experience!
When: Dec. 4-10, 2023
What is The Haunted Code Chronicles?
Engaging for All Ages: Whether you're a beginner or an experienced coder, The Haunted Code Chronicles offers a challenge suitable for everyone. It's a family-friendly adventure that can be enjoyed by students and adults alike.
No Special Equipment Required: All you need is an internet connection and a web browser to get started. No additional software or hardware is needed!
Upcoming Professional Learning Opportunities
Get your Secondary CS Endorsement for FREE!
Are you interested in getting your CS Secondary Endorsement? Oh, did we mention it could be FREE? UNI is offering 180 full-tuition scholarships to be awarded to teachers!
UNI’s existing Computer Science Endorsement program will serve teachers statewide by partnering with the AEAs to provide more local access to high-quality computer science instruction. Beginning in the summer of 2024, Keystone will host a community of practice. Participants will complete computer science content and pedagogy coursework through UNI, while participating in face-to-face communities of practice (CoPs) facilitated through the AEAs. Apply by Jan. 31, 2024, and find out more below:
Online Professional Development courses through CSTA
As a CS teacher, you’re constantly looking for ways to improve your practice but have limited time to do so, and it can be challenging to find quality PD on specific topics of interest. CSTA is pleased to provide a new way for members to gain knowledge and skills aligned to the CSTA Standards for CS Teachers.
The online professional development (PD) courses provide a flexible, deep learning experience that you can complete at your own pace. Course content includes meaningful and interactive activities focused on application to your CS classroom — you’ll do a lot more than just read and watch. Plus, you will experience asynchronous collaboration with other CS educators as you both give and get feedback and exchange ideas.
CSTA is excited to announce two online PD opportunities! "Using Data to Improve Diverse CS Course Participation" and "Fostering a Sense of Belonging in Your CS Classroom" are available to complete between Oct. 2 through Dec. 31, 2023. Because courses are self-paced, you can register at any point until two weeks before the end of the session. Price for the course varies based on length, but All courses are free for CSTA+ members!
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR CSTA 2024
The CSTA 2024 Annual Conference is set for July 16–19, 2024, in Las Vegas!
Attendees will leave feeling refreshed and excited to start the 2024–2025 school year, armed with new lessons and tools to implement in the classroom. Hear from our inspirational keynote speakers — to be announced soon — and experience the hands-on classroom experiences you’ve been missing.
Registration for CSTA 2024 includes:
- Full access to all programming Tuesday, July 16 through Friday, July 19, 2024.
- An invitation to the Welcome Reception on Tuesday, July 16.
- An invitation to the offsite reception on Thursday, July 18. Details will be announced at a later date.
- Access to all session resources and slide decks.
- Access to general session recordings.
- Access to the Exhibit Hall.
Ready to register for CSTA 2024? Super Early Bird pricing is available until Jan. 5, 2024. Don't forget to click "Member Registration" and log in using your CSTA+ membership credentials in order to secure the member rate!
Save the Date!
Apr. 8, 2024: 6th - 8th grade Robotics
Explore ways to integrate robots into the 6th - 8th grade classroom to engage students in learning Computer Science. We will explore robots that are available for checkout through Keystone media center such as Finch, Micro:bit, Hummingbird, Edison, Root, and Sphero.
Swift Student Challenge
Apple’s Swift Student Challenge has given thousands of students around the world the opportunity to showcase their creativity and build real-world skills to take into their careers and beyond.
Help students get ready with new resources for teaching
and learning app development with Swift.
Applications will open in February 2024.
Amazon's Future Engineer Scholarship
Do you have students interested in pursuing a degree in computer science or engineering? 400 students will be awarded up to $40,000 each to pursue careers in these fields. But hurry! The deadline to apply is Dec. 15, 2023!
Additional Amazon Opportunities:
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the most transformative technology of our generation. If we are going to unlock the full potential of AI to tackle the world’s most challenging problems, we need to make AI education accessible to anyone with a desire to learn. Because of this, Amazon has announced 3 new initiatives:
- Eight new and free AI and generative AI courses
- Amazon Web Services (AWS) Generative AI Scholarship, providing more than 50,000 high school and university students globally with access to a new generative AI course on Udacity
- New collaboration with Code.org designed to help students learn about generative AI
Keystone's NEW K-5 CS Integration website
Did you know legislation requiring all elementary schools to teach computer science took effect on July 1, 2023? Have you checked out our latest resource for schools? Our Keystone CS team created a K-5 website with CS integration ideas and resources for each CSTA standard. Check out our website with resources to help integrate computer science into curricular areas or classroom routines.
Currently, there are 2 grants available through the Iowa Department of Education. Both fall under the category of CS Incentive Funds:
Computer Science Incentive Fund
The new legislation extends the date for use of these funds from July 1 of the current fiscal year through September 30 of the following fiscal year. This cycle will run from July 1, 2023, through September 30, 2024. Due to this, claims for reimbursements will have two (2) dates now (July 26 and October 21) to ensure accounting fiscal year processes are still met.
- The CS Incentive Fund - Endorsements (Iowa Grants ID# 521311) has already been posted to allow educators to enroll in the fall semester. This funding is going quickly. Educator endorsements are a priority item, however, funding is still limited.
- The CS Incentive Fund - Professional Development (Iowa Grants ID# 52144) is set to open on September 1 to allow districts and teams to get back into buildings and discuss needs. This is still intended for high-quality district-initiated professional development. This is competitive and still scored on a rubric. Emphasis will be placed on high-quality and well-thought-out plans.
CS Curriculum Options
Looking for curriculum options? These resource documents were recently released from the Iowa AEA Computer Science consultants. They provide a curated list of options for various grade levels.
Connect with Other Computer Science Teachers
Facebook Group: Iowa Computer Science Teachers
Learn about the Standards
Iowa's voluntary computer science standards are the CSTA K-12 Standards, developed by the Computer Science Teachers Association. These standards are arranged in grade bands, with expectations at the K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-10, and 11-12 level.
Keystone AEA Contacts: