CSforAZ News

Issue 10: October 2018

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Arizona State Board Adopts K-12 Computer Science Standards

At the October 22, 2018 State Board of Education meeting, the board unanimously adopted Arizona K-12 Computer Science Standards. Full implementation will begin in 2020-2021. Arizona Department of Education has supported professional development in the Framework for K-12 CS Education as well as the CSforAll SCRIPT rubric. They will also partner with CSforAZ and CSTA to offer one week of CS professional development the week of June 17, 2019 in Phoenix, AZ where K-12 teachers will be able to complete a week-long PD on a strand of their choice. Offerings will include programs such as Project GUTS, AP CS Principles, and project-based CS for K-8.

Mark the Date - AZ Computer Science PD Week - June 17-21, 2019

Through AZ CSPDWeek, CSTA-AZ will work with Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), Computer Science for Arizona (CSforAZ) task-force, and Arizona Department of Education to implement a week of professional development. This week of training for K-12 educators will bring together a group of CS Professional Development (PD) providers with engaging, relevant, and standards-aligned content, much of which is built on research supported by the National Science Foundation. Following this week of summer PD, the educators will continue to collaborate and build resources through an ongoing community of practice that will build a strong, teacher led, computer science movement within the region.

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Computer Science Prepares Students for High-Demand Careers

CSTA-AZ and AZTEA Community Meetup

Educators and advocates who are interested in expanding CS opportunities for AZ students are invited to attend a community meet-up on December 1, 2018 at Gilbert Community Education Center from 8 am-12 noon.


6839 Gilbert E Guadalupe Community Rd, Education Mesa, AZ Center


Link to register

Join us as we collaborate to celebrate CS Education Week.

  • CS Education Week on 12/05/2018) Description: Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) is an annual program dedicated to inspiring K-12 students to take interest in computer science. CSEdWeek is held in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906). https://csedweek.org/
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As this back-to-school season wraps up, leaders across the state are already looking to the 2019-20 school year and looking for a way to engage students in hands-on and real-world computer science learning.

PLTW offers a complete PreK-12 computer science pathway that empowers students with relevant, in-demand skills and teachers with the tools to lead students in this learning:

  • In PLTW Launch, PLTW’s PreK-5 program, students begin to develop coding skills as they plan a path, crate wearable code, and code an interactive robotic device. Students also explore the sequential nature of computer programs through hands-on activities, explore how computers work, and develop computational thinking skills.

  • In PLTW Gateway for students in grades 6-8, students explore how programming goes beyond the virtual world into the physical world and about computational thinking concepts through the creation of mobile apps.

  • Finally, PLTW’s four-year high school computer science program engages students in compelling, real-world challenges. As students work together to design solutions, they learn more than just how to code and develop computational thinking and communication skills. Students work together to brainstorm solutions, they test their limits, question what’s possible, and transform into creators of technology, rather than just consumers.

Janet Hartkopf teaches PLTW Computer Science Principles at Casteel High School in Chandler Unified School District and said PLTW’s activity-, project-, problem-based instructional design is transforming the way she teaches and how her students learn.

“My kids love it,” Hartkopf said. “They come right in and get to work, and they aren’t logging out early. They can communicate and have meaningful conversations with each other, and there is a lot more engagement among students. That’s the teamwork we must develop for 21st century skills.”

PLTW’s programs include high-quality teacher professional development that prepares teachers, no matter their background, to facilitate instructional design in their classrooms.

“With PLTW, I have the opportunity to learn alongside my students,” she continued. “PLTW takes the spotlight off me and puts it on the students. They are learning with my facilitation and being motivated through the projects. When I first started teaching, I was in the front of the room and guiding everything. Now, it’s the exploration of the students and their hands-on activities that let me use time to bring in connections from the community.

PLTW provides continuous support, and that’s something you don’t get with a lot of other curriculum. “There was a level of comfort when I started teaching it because I knew I was going to be supported and not just given a textbook and told to wing it.”

More than 100 schools in Arizona work with PLTW to prepare students for the state’s most in-demand careers. Across the U.S., PLTW partners with 11,500 schools, PreK-12, to ensure students are prepared with the knowledge and skills they need on any career path they take. For more information on Project Lead The Way, visit pltw.org.


eCYBERMISSION is a web-based STEM competition for students (grades 6-9). Students are challenged to explore how STEM works in their world while working as a team to solve problems in their community. Teams will engage with scientists, engineers, and other STEM professionals specializing in fields such as robotics, technology, environment, national security and safety, and alternative energy sources. Registration deadline is December 19, 2018.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Designed to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity, provide tools and resources needed to stay safe online, and increase the resiliency of the Nation in the event of a cyber incident. Each week has its own theme. The Stop.Think.Connect. toolkit provides resources to help you stay safe online and host your own cyber event. Materials include ready-made cyber presentations and tip cards.

Awards for Aspirations in Computing

The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Award for Aspirations in Computing (AiC) honors high school women who are active and interested in computing and technology, and encourages them to pursue their passions. AiC award recipients are chosen for their demonstrated interest and achievements in computing, proven leadership ability, academic performance, and plans for post-secondary education. Applications deadline is November 5, 2018.
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CSforAZ is a group of dedicated volunteers committed to enabling all K-12 students in Arizona to have access to computer science (CS) education.