C-START Colorado - Strategic Approach to Rally Teachers

Mission: To improve computer science education in Colorado

When compared to national numbers, it’s clear that Colorado is in desperate need of more teachers who have the ability to offer rigorous, engaging computer science courses.

Tracy Camp

Click on any of the following panel headings to learn more about C-START:

News CSPdWeek

Motivation

Colorado K-12 students need ample opportunities to develop skills and interest in computing, especially since the computing job sector is growing, satisfying, and well-paying. In addition, these opportunities need to be available for all students.

Alas, women and minorities are underrepresented in the demographics of students who take the AP CS A Exam at both the national and state levels. Here in Colorado, only about 15% of students who take the AP CS A Exam are women (compared to 20% at the National level). Also, while approximately 33% of high school students in Colorado are Hispanic/Latino, only about 7% of the AP CS A Exam takers are Hispanic/Latino. The lack of engaging computer science courses for women and minorities in Colorado's high schools needs to be addressed.

Objectives

C-START aims to:
  1. Build local capability for teaching computer science courses
    • In-service professional development
  2. Support teachers as they gain confidence to teach new computer science courses
    • Mines CS Students are offered a Service Learning Course which pairs them with a local HS CS teacher
  3. Create a strong and active community among K-12 teachers/administrators and university faculty
    • Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA)
  4. Establish a tiered mentoring program for high school teachers
  5. Broaden participation of underrepresented groups in computing
    • Understand best practices for engaging women and Hispanic youth
  6. Increase computational thinking skills of high school teachers
    • Pre-service educational technology course at University of Northern Colorado
  7. Create infrastructure to develop future teachers of computer science courses
    • Investigating creating a state endorsed certificate in CS
  8. Sustain the CS professional development opportunities after the grant period ends
  9. Disseminate our lessons learned

Individual Participants

Investigators Title and Affiliation Expertise for C-START
Tracy Camp Professor of CS at CSM Computer Science and K-12 STEM Education
Cyndi Rader Teaching Professor of CS at CSM Computer Science and K-12 STEM Education
Christy Moroye Associate Professor at UNC Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education
Lead Teachers
Kyle Gillette CS Teacher at Lakewood HS High School CS Education
Charles Powell CS Teacher at Green Mountain HS High School CS Education
Advisory Board
Susanne Hambrusch Professor of CS at Purdue University STEM Education, High School Professional Development for CS
Clayton Lewis Professor of CS at CU, Boulder Computational Thinking, High School Outreach Projects
Lori Pollock Professor of CS at Univ. of Delaware Service Learning, PI of Partner4CS project, High School Professional Development for CS
Enrico Pontelli Regents Professor at NMSU Lead for K-12 Initiatives in Computing Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institutions (CAHSI)
Lucy Sanders CEO and Co-Founder of NCWIT Increasing Gender Diversity in Computing
Lissa Clayborn Acting Executive Director of CSTA K-12 CS Education and CSTA Activities
Other Personnel
Heather Thiry External Evaluator, Golden Evaluation & Policy Research Evaluation on the under-representation of women and minorities in STEM disciplines
Nancy Sileo Assistant Dean at UNC Professor of Early Childhood Education

Expected Outcomes

Current Secondary Teachers (In-Service); New Secondary Teachers (Pre-Service)

Improved CS Content Knowledge

Increased Confidence in Teaching CS

Positive Change in Teacher's Attitudes Toward CS

Increased Knowledge in Engaging Underrepresented Students in CS

CS and Math Undergraduates

Improved Confidence in CS Content Knowledge

Increased Engagement in Computing

Increased Interest in Future Teaching

Increased Knowledge in Engaging Underrepresented Students in CS

Colorado Secondary Schools

Increased Number Offering CS Courses

Increased Number of Students Taking CS Courses

Increased Diversity in CS Classes

Increased Number of Students Taking AP CS A Exam

Secondary Students (expected outcomes not to be evaluated)

Increased Computational Thinking Ability

Increased Ability to Pass New AP CSP and Current CS A Exams

Increased Enthusiasm in CS and Careers in CS

Increased Diversity in CS Classes

The Plan (Logic Model)

Situation
  • Lack of CS Education in K-12
  • Lack of Females and Minorities in Computing
  • Lots of Employment Opportunities
Data from Teachers
  • Teacher Interviews
  • Attitude Surveys
  • Content Assessments
  • Course Statistics
Inputs
What We Invest
  • Pedagogical Knowledge of Engaging Diverse Populations in Computing
  • Resources for Engaging CS Courses in Secondary Schools
  • Motivated Graduate and Undergraduate Students
  • Expertise in Evaluation
Who We Reach
  • Current Secondary School Teachers
  • Future Secondary School Teachers
  • Undergraduate Students
  • Secondary School Students
Activities
What We Do
  • Recruit and Train Teachers in CS Content, Pedagogy, and BPC (pre-service and in-service)
  • Offer New CS Teachers Support
  • Create Academic Certificates for CS
  • Augment Pre-Service Requirement with Computational Thinking
  • Re-Energize the CSTA Chapter
  • Establish a Network and Community of Teachers
  • Evaluate Student and Teacher Outcomes
  • Disseminate Lessons Learned

Planning, Evaluation, and Dissemination of C-START

Improved CS Education in Colorado!

Outcomes
Desired Results
Teachers
  1. Increased CS Content Knowledge
  2. Increased Confidence in Teaching CS Courses
  3. Increased Interest in CS
  4. Increased Understanding of Engaging Diverse K-12 Students in Computing
Undergraduate Students
  1. Increased Confidence in CS Content Knowledge
  2. Increased Engagement in Computing
  3. Increased Interest in Teaching
  4. Increased Understanding of Engaging Diverse K-12 Students in Computing
Secondary Schools
  1. Increased Number of Schools Offering CS Courses
  2. Increased Enrollment in CS Courses (esp. underrepresented students)
  3. Increased Number of Students Taking the AP CS A Exam

Computer Science Principles Workshops

Colorado School of Mines will be hosting a weekly workshop from 8 - 10am every Saturday in 2016 starting September 10th and ending November 19th. We will be covering the Code.org CSP curriculum during this time.
Mines Campus, Marquez Hall Room 222 *
* All sessions will be held in Marquez Hall Room 222 EXCEPT for the session on November 12th which will be held in Marquez Hall Room 322

Contact cstart@mines.edu with questions.


There is no need to register in advance for these sessions, attend as many as you can!

Tentative Schedule:

    September
  • 10th: Unit 2 lessons 1-3
  • 17th: Unit 2 lessons 4-5
  • 24th: Unit 2 lessons 5
    October
  • 1st: Unit 2 lessons 7-10
  • 8th: Unit 2 lessons 11-12
  • 15th: Unit 2 lessons 13-14
  • 22nd: Unit 3 lessons 1-3
  • 29th: Unit 3 lessons 4-6
    November
  • 5th: Unit 3 lessons 7-9
  • 12th: Unit 3 lessons 10 (* In Marquez Hall 322)
  • 19th: TBD

Summer Professional Development: Scratch and Python

June 14-16, Workshop 9 am - 4 pm
Mines Campus, Brown Building 253
Continental Breakfast 8:30 am, Brown Building 210W

Each day of the workshop will increase in proficiency; those new to computing should, therefore, plan to attend Day 1.


June 14

Day One: Scratch

Complete the following before attending:
Post Materials for Scratch:
Goals/Objectives:
  1. Understand program flow
  2. Learn basic programing practices
  3. Begin to develop Scratch portfolio
Agenda:
  • Morning Session
  • Marching Orders Activity
    • Understand what a computer program is.
    Light Cycles
    • Explore pair programming through development of a fun game.

  • 12 - 1 PM: Break for Lunch

  • Afternoon Session
  • Tower Defense
    • Explore incremental development and larger projects in Scratch.
    Code Challenge
    • Learn how code challenges can help expand student growth in computer science.

June 15

Day Two: Basic Python

Complete the following before attending:
Post Materials for Basic Python:
Goals/Objectives:
  1. Understand Python program structure
  2. Create simple programs using if/loops/functions
  3. Practice reading, explaining, and debugging programs
Agenda:
  • Morning Session
  • Rock, Paper, Scissors
    • Explore incremental development and nested conditions
    Turtle Art
    • Learn about objects and design methodologies

  • 12 - 1 PM: Break for Lunch

  • Afternoon Session
  • Guessing Numbers
    • Trace programs to find bugs
    Mastermind
    • Write and explain more complex programs

June 16

Day Three: Intermediate Python

Complete the following before attending:
Post Materials for Intermediate Python:
Goals/Objectives:
  1. Practice working with file input/output
  2. Gain exposure to algorithmic problem solving
  3. Understand the uses of different data structures
Agenda:
  • Morning Session
  • Hangman
    • Explore data structures and reinforce functions via scaffolded programs
    Grading Distributions
    • Use props to design a bin sorting program

  • 12 - 1 PM: Break for Lunch

  • Afternoon Session
  • Python Bat
    • Investigate types of errors, debugging practice and fun logic puzzles
    Game of Sticks
    • Build a text-based game and simple AI

Summer Professional Development: Web Programming

August 3-5, Continental Breakfast 8:30, Workshop 9 am - 4 pm
Mines Campus, Marquez Hall 022

Each day of the workshop will increase in proficiency; those new to computing should, therefore, plan to attend Day 1.

SURVEY

August 3

Day One: HTML and CSS

Complete the following before attending:
Day One Workshop Materials
Goals/Objectives:
  1. Learn the basics of HTML and CSS
  2. Build an Outline of a Course Webpage
Agenda:
  • Morning Session
    • Basic HTML
    • Tags
    • Images

  • 12 - 1 PM: Break for Lunch

  • Afternoon Session
    • Intro to CSS
    • Fonts and Colors
    • CSS Classes
    • Links

August 4

Day Two: Intro JavaScript

Complete the following before attending:
Day Two Workshop Materials
Goals/Objectives:
  1. Combine JavaScript with HTML/CSS to create simple responsive web applications
Agenda:
  • Morning Session
    • Borders, Margins, and Padding
    • Document Object Model

  • 12 - 1 PM: Break for Lunch

  • Afternoon Session
    • JavaScript Events

August 5

Day Three: JavaScript

Complete the following before attending:
Day Three Workshop Materials
Goals/Objectives:
  1. Create simple web games
Agenda:
  • Morning Session
    • Scaffolding
    • Programming Logic
    • JavaScript Canvas

  • 12 - 1 PM: Break for Lunch

  • Afternoon Session
    • Project Based Learning
    • Recursion

Day Three: JavaScript Processing - Advanced

Complete the following before attending:
Goals/Objectives:
  1. Gain a basic understanding of the javascript library p5.js
  2. Build a fun, visual game
Agenda:
  • Morning Session
    • Intro to Processing
    • Begin agar.io game

  • 12 - 1 PM: Break for Lunch

  • Afternoon Session
    • Finish agar.io game

Snap! Summer Professional Development Workshop

June 27th - 29th 2017, 9 am - 4 pm (includes lunch)
For any K-12 teacher interested
Mines Campus

Contact cstart@mines.edu with questions.

Register Now
All workshops are free of charge, and may include a stipend for participating. Whether a participant receives a stipend will depend on availability of budget and whether the participant's district is willing to provide aggregated data on students taking computer science courses. Participants will receive a certificate for the professional development hours attended.

Snap! is a visual, drag-and-drop programming language that is suitable for a serious introduction to computer science in middle and high schools. If you would like to introduce students to programming, then come learn the basics of Snap! Also, if you are doing the BJC training and are new to programming, then this workshop is recommended; that is, this workshop will help you with some of the work you need to complete prior to the in-person week of professional development.

Python Summer Professional Development Workshop

July 6th - 8th 2017, 9 am - 4 pm
For any K-12 teacher interested
Mines Campus

Contact cstart@mines.edu with questions.

Register Now
All workshops are free of charge, and may include a stipend for participating. Whether a participant receives a stipend will depend on availability of budget and whether the participant's district is willing to provide aggregated data on students taking computer science courses. Participants will receive a certificate for the professional development hours attended.

Python is a high-level general purpose programming language that is easy to learn, making it suitable for an introductory programming course. This workshop will teach the fundamentals of programming as well as the advanced features on Python. Participants are encouraged to attend at least July 6-7th, with July 8th as an option for those who want to delve deeper.


Python Summer Professional Development Workshop

July 31st & Aug 1st - 2nd 2017, 9 am - 4 pm
For any K-12 teacher interested
Mines Campus

Contact cstart@mines.edu with questions.

Register Now
All workshops are free of charge, and may include a stipend for participating. Whether a participant receives a stipend will depend on availability of budget and whether the participant's district is willing to provide aggregated data on students taking computer science courses. Participants will receive a certificate for the professional development hours attended.

Python is a high-level general purpose programming language that is easy to learn, making it suitable for an introductory programming course. This workshop will teach the fundamentals of programming as well as the advanced features on Python. Participants are encouraged to attend at least July 31st/Aug 1st, with Aug 2nd as an option for those who want to delve deeper.

Computer Science... what's the big idea?

July 12th - 13th 2017, 9 am - 3 pm (includes lunch)
For any K-12 teacher interested
Mines Campus

Contact cstart@mines.edu with questions.

Register Now
All workshops are free of charge, and may include a stipend for participating. Whether a participant receives a stipend will depend on availability of budget and whether the participant's district is willing to provide aggregated data on students taking computer science courses. Participants will receive a certificate for the professional development hours attended.

When teaching computer science (CS) topics, it can be too easy to miss the wood for the trees. Why do students need to know how to "code"? Why do we teach them how to work with binary numbers? What's the purpose of learning bubblesort and quicksort? This workshop will look at a list of 10 "big ideas" of computer science that have been distilled based on input from curriculum designers and CS experts around the world, and they will be presented in a fun and engaging way. Teachers will then be able to relate the 10 "big ideas" to various topics they teach in computer science to the context of a bigger picture. We will explore the big ideas using examples of teaching activities, particularly from the "CS Unplugged" project that Tim leads. Even if you are new to computer science and want to know "what's the big idea", you will learn useful topics for the courses you teach. Bringing your own device will be very useful, but there will be options available if that's not possible.

Note: Workshop leader is Tim Bell, the creator of CS Unplugged.

Computational Thinking and Music Education

July 14th 2017, 9 am - 3 pm (includes lunch)
For elementary and middle school teachers
Mines Campus

Contact cstart@mines.edu with questions.

Register Now
All workshops are free of charge, and may include a stipend for participating. Whether a participant receives a stipend will depend on availability of budget and whether the participant's district is willing to provide aggregated data on students taking computer science courses. Participants will receive a certificate for the professional development hours attended.

Computational thinking (CT) applies to subjects outside computer science, and music is no exception. CT ideas such as decomposition, patterns, abstraction and algorithms can all be exercised in a meaningful way while at the same time engaging students with key concepts from music. This workshop will present ideas for having students exercise ideas from music while at the same time developing skills relating to CT. The session will assume an interest in music, but not necessarily specialist knowledge of music theory - you'll get to explore that via computational thinking! If you have a laptop and headphones, please bring them. Bringing your own device will be very useful, but there will be options available if that's not possible.

Beauty & Joy of Computing (BJC): an AP CS Principles course

July 24th - 28th 2017 (face to face workshop)
For high school teachers planning to teach CSP

Contact Tracy Camp (tcamp@mines.edu) for more details.

All workshops are free of charge, and may include a stipend for participating. Whether a participant receives a stipend will depend on availability of budget and whether the participant's district is willing to provide aggregated data on students taking computer science courses. Participants will receive a certificate for the professional development hours attended.
The Beauty & Joy of Computing (BJC) course emphasizes the joy and complexity of creating visual computer programs (in Snap!), while considering the potential benefits and harms of technology. BJC is AP compliant and will thoroughly prepare your students for the AP CS Principles exam; BJC PD can replace an AP Summer Institute. Our PD program is a three week model:
  • Pre-Workshop: Online course at your own pace
  • Workshop: One week of face-to-face training locally with a BJC Mentor
  • Post-Workshop: Complete any online course work. Additional year-round support and small-group mentoring will be provided!
NSF Logo

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. #CNS-1543231.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.