Keystone's Computer Science Teacher Newsletter
STEM Scale-up Computer Science Options
Every year, the Iowa Governor's STEM Council offers STEM Scale-up programs to assist schools in getting started with new STEM educational resources. Check out some of the Computer Science options listed below.
Apply by Feb. 28, 2024; 4:59 pm.
Artificial Intelligence - Fact Sheet
Description: AI for K-12 Educators is a professional development series that provides educators with a high-level understanding of how Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) impact our society.
Grade Level: K-12
Contact: Samantha Dahlby, NewBoCo, email@example.com
Blackbird Code - Fact Sheet
Description: A collection of online curricula that teaches math or science through the lens of coding. Students
write real, text-based programs that bring the core concepts they are learning to life.
Grade Level: 6-12
Contact: Ness Blackbird, Blackbird Code, firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcoming Webinar Registration:
Robo Wunderkind STEM Program - Fact Sheet
Description: Offers easy-to-use building blocks and a series of age-appropriate coding apps that develop computational thinking skills and spark a curiosity for STEAM in young learners.
Grade Level: K-5
Contact: Jamie Guidry, Robo Wunderkind, Inc., email@example.com
Storytime STEM-packs: STEM + Computer Science - Fact Sheet
Description: Incorporate age-appropriate STEM+C concepts into children’s programming. Children collaboratively explain phenomena or solve the problem, thereby making sense of the STEM concept.
Grade Level: PreK-2
Contact: Gabriela Rose, Allegheny Intermediate Unit Math & Science Collaborative, firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcoming Webinar Registration:
Making Innovative STEM Connections - Fact Sheet (Indi's or Root robots)
Description: This lesson design framework focuses around the idea that making and tinkering are ways to engage student’s minds and build conceptual understanding around academic content.
Grade Level: PK-8
Contact: Robert Burnett, Science Center of Iowa, email@example.com
Upcoming Professional Learning Opportunities
6th - 8th grade Physical Computing with 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 the Keystone Media Center such as Finch, Micro:bit, Hummingbird, Edison, Root, and Sphero.
Date: Apr. 8, 2024
Time: 9:00 - 3:00
Location: Keystone AEA, Elkader
Registration Deadline: Mar. 25, 2024
CSTA Annual Conference 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? Don't forget to click "Member Registration" and log in using your CSTA+ membership credentials to secure the member rate!
CSTA online courses - Free to CSTA+ members!
CSTA has designed online professional development courses to provide a flexible, deep learning experience that you can complete at your own pace.
Register now for the following Winter 2024 courses:
- Women in CS: Understanding the Impacts, Disparities and Their Voices
- Add-Ons to Boost Equity and Inclusion for Your CS Curriculum
- Identity Inclusion for K-12 Computer Science Educators
- Using Data to Improve Diverse Participation in CS
These sessions will be available to complete between Jan. 8 and March 17, 2024.
Swift Student Challenge
Apple is proud to support and uplift the next generation of developers, creators, and entrepreneurs with the Swift Student Challenge. The Challenge has allowed thousands of student developers to showcase their creativity and coding capabilities through app playgrounds, and earn real-world skills that they can take into their careers and beyond. Apple is releasing new coding resources, working with community partners, and announcing the Challenge earlier than in previous years so students can dive deep into Swift and the development process — and educators can get a head start in supporting them.
Help students get ready with new resources for teaching and learning app development with Swift.
Applications will open on February 5, 2024, for three weeks.
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. Bookmark the site.
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: