Computer Science

Boot Up Wyoming 2022 is an initiative to implement computer science in all Wyoming schools. During the 2018 Budget Session, the Wyoming Legislature passed Senate Enrolled Act 0048, which adds computer science and computational thinking to the state educational program. Click here for more information on the statutory changes and click here for more information on the development of computer science standards.

As part of the new legislation, the WDE needed to complete a cost analysis. The 2018 Computer Science Report provides background information and a cost analysis for districts to implement computer science in their districts.

For questions about computer science, please contact Robin Grandpre at robin.grandpre1@wyo.gov or 307-777-5315.

Computer Science Definitions

  • Computer Literacy:  Level of familiarity with hardware, software, and internet concepts that allow one to use a computer and its programs. Examples include performing an internet search, creating a digital presentation, and communicating electronically.
  • Educational Technology: The study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources. Educational technology is the process of integrating technology into education in a way that promotes a more diverse learning environment and a way for students to learn how to use technology as well as their common assignments.
  • Digital Citizenship: Refers to the continuously developing normalities of appropriate, responsible, and empowered use of technology such as choosing an appropriate password and keeping it secure.
  • Computer Science: Computer Science is the study of computing principles, design, and applications (hardware & software); the creation, access, and use of information through algorithms and problem solving, and the impact of computing on society.
  • Computational Thinking: A way of solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior that draws on concepts fundamental to computer science. Defining characteristics of computational thinking include comprehension of algorithms as well as decomposition, pattern recognition, and data representation.
  • Keyboarding: The skill of proficient and accurate digital input by means of a keyboard. This includes understanding the keyboard layout and its function.
  • Computing Education: The study of computer science or related activities. Includes the act of scripting, coding, web development, or computer programming. Does NOT include uses of computer technology to solve problems (i.e. multimedia development, desktop publishing, etc.)

Print the CS Definitions here.

Computer Science SCRIPT Training

The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) is pleased to announce key support from Microsoft Corp. enabling the department to offer computer science implementation and planning training to school districts. Wyoming will receive over $95,000 in grant funding from Microsoft’s TechSpark initiative to offer Strategic CSforALL Resource & Implementation Planning Tool (SCRIPT) training for school districts. CSforALL is an organization dedicated to making computer science part of every K-12 student’s education.

The training will occur over a year, starting with a two-day SCRIPT workshop. During the workshop, school district or charter school teams will be led through a series of self-assessment and goal setting activities to develop a computer science education vision and roadmap on how to get there. The goal of the workshop is for district teams to build or expand upon their computer science education implementation plans.

Three months after the initial training, WDE staff will visit participating school districts to discuss plan implementation progress and provide support. Six months after the initial training, districts will come together as a group to report on their successes, challenges, and update/revise plans to better achieve goals. After one year, districts will come back together to plan for the second year of moving toward full implementation of computer science in all grades.

The training will occur in six regions, which will be open to six school districts in each region.

      • Casper: Oct. 15, 2019 and May 20, 2020
      • Rock Springs: Nov. 14, 2019, and June 4, 2020
      • Cheyenne: Nov. 19, 2019, and June 11, 2020
      • Worland: Jan. 7, 2020, and Aug. 6, 2020
      • Afton: March 4, 2020, and Sept. 16, 2020
      • Gillette: Feb. 25, 2020, and Sept. 24, 2020

Districts serving substantially rural and underserved students will be given priority. Districts must bring at least four team members but can bring up to six. Districts participants must include a district leader and school leader, and media/tech facilitators and teachers teaching computer science are highly encouraged to be on the team.

The grant will cover costs for substitutes for two teachers to attend the initial two-day training. If the training occurs over the summer, the teachers will be paid their daily contract rate.

For more information about the SCRIPT Training contact Robin Grandpre at robin.grandpre1@wyo.gov

goIT

goIT is a free and flexible program for schools, non-profits, and other youth-serving institutions in North America, to help students engage actively in computational thinking by using a student-driven exploration of community-centered issues. Students work in teams to identify a problem, generate possible solutions, wireframe their prototypes, develop and test their designs, and present their work to peers and judges all with the virtual support of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) industry experts.  

Your students will immerse themselves in:

      • Computational Thinking
        • Learn problem solving frameworks and practices used by industry leaders
      • The Design Thinking Methodology
        • Learn how to design a product to meet needs through empathetic motivation
      • State of the art 21st Century Tech Skills
        • Learn how to create a prototype of your solution in the form of a mobile App mobile app using Computer Programming techniques
      • The process of designing an entrepreneurial pitch
        • Collaborating together and pitching their ideas to an audience

How do I bring goIT to my campus or district?

Coordinate a goIT facilitator certification training for your district. During this high energy and interactive 6.5 hour training, attendees will experience the goIT curriculum first hand in preparation to lead it themselves at their respective campus. Upon completion of the training, teachers will have access to the goIT curriculum as well as a portal to request industry expert support in their classrooms during their respective programs.

What does it take to coordinate goIT for my district with the support of TCS?  

The process to organize a goIT event with TCS is very easy and can be customized to fit your needs. TCS provides goIT free of charge so that budget constraints are not a factor. Once you appoint a district representative assigned to coordinate goIT they will work to complete the following:

      •       Attend a conference call with TCS (Introductions, Overview)
      •       Identify staff and students who will participate in the event
      •       Select a location and schedule a facilitator certification training for your staff
      •       Schedule the student event and identify judges
      •       Review program material requirements with TCS (poster board, tape, etc.)
      •       Review program technology requirements with TCS and your Technology Department
      •       Share information from TCS regarding the scheduled event with staff, students and the community
      •       Print and share electronic resources with staff participating in the facilitator certification training
      •       Provide materials such as tape, poster board, markers and folders for the event
      •       Prepare your facility for a facilitator training, group assembly, and classroom teams
      •       Watch your students work together as they become design thinkers

For questions or to schedule a goIT certification training and culminating event in your district, contact Laurel Ballard, Supervisor,  Student and Teacher Resources Team for the Wyoming Department of Education, at laurel.ballard@wyo.gov.

Computer Science Webinars

The Wyoming Department of Education is pleased to announce that a series of informational webinars geared towards the creation and development of computer science programs throughout Wyoming.

If you missed any of the webinars, please contact Robin Grandpre at robin.grandpre1@wyo.gov to get the recording.

      • January 17: TEALS and Park County School District #1
        • There is a growing demand for employees with computer science skills in all fields, but too few students are able to access the necessary education to fill these jobs. Come learn how TEALS is helping U.S. high schools build and grow computer science education programs by providing experienced CS professionals, who are trained to work with high school students, to team-teach with classroom teachers. TEALS offers multiple curricula and various support levels to meet individual school needs. You can learn more at www.tealsk12.org/schools.
      • January 31: Code.org and Sean Wybrant, 2017 Colorado Teacher of the Year
        • Code.org will explore the three courses that make up Code.org’s K-12 pathway – CS Fundamentals for grades K-5, CS Discoveries for grades 6-10, and CS Principles for grades 9-12. In addition to learning about what makes each of these three courses unique, accessible, and engaging, we’ll dive into Code.org’s robust professional learning program, with a specific focus on how we’re working to help teachers from all content areas and backgrounds to become Computer Science teachers.
        • Sean Wybrant crafts tomorrow’s heroes in his game design and development in the classroom today. Sean and his students will discuss how to tackle big projects, how computer science instruction should be the computational thinking – not the coding, and the power of the white board for work planning. He will also discuss how a teacher should never be a barrier to a student’s success. Start with the teachers who are motivated to learn regardless of their content area or past experience. Having passionate people who care about kids and who want to learn is better than having people who are experts in something related but who are not wanting to teach the classes.
      • February 7: Array School of Design and Technology and University of Wyoming RAMPED program
        • Array will share their approach and goals for computer science teacher training. This includes creating a community, providing follow-up, helping teachers understand the industry and get connected to industry partners. Array’s approach includes really sound adult education principles and valuing human interaction vs. online courses. Array is also interesting in working with districts to make trainings that actually matter to districts.
        • RAMPED is a WDE funded grant that has worked with 30 teachers through Robotics, Applied Mathematics, Physics, and Engineering Design. These lenses and opportunities were explored through six sessions including: Arduinos, Raspberry Pis, Space Jupyter notebooks, NetLogo, Virtual reality, and Baxter robot. Andrea Burrows discusses an overview of RAMPED and provides an elementary use example. Mike Borowczak showcases computer science opportunities in K-12 schools. Three current Wyoming teachers explain classroom projects inspired by RAMPED. Riverton teacher Ceira Lee, Casper teacher Mark McAtee, and Kaycee teacher Victoria Davis are scheduled to join in the celebration of computer science use. The session will end with a chance for audience questions.
      • February 21: Microsoft’s Imagine Academy and Laramie County School District #1
        • Microsoft Imagine Academy and Certifications provide a comprehensive technology curriculum, equipping learners with the Computer Science, IT Infrastructure, Data Science and Productivity skills needed to succeed in college and careers. A Microsoft Imagine Academy membership subscription and Certifications provide excellent, cost-effective learning resources for teacher professional development and student learning across your entire institution and helps your school shine in your community as a global leader and partner with Microsoft in STEM education. Microsoft Imagine Academy is designed to provide institutions with the tools, resources and curriculum to teach students the IT skills they’ll need for college and careers in today’s technology centered job market. The program also provides technology professional development resources that educators need to be successful in the classroom.  
        • Over the last school year, Laramie #1 has transitioned from offering isolated computer science courses in select schools to a comprehensive K-12 system of offerings.  This approach offers equity in offerings to all students and has also broadly defined computer science to give students opportunities in a wide range of courses.  Laramie #1 successfully addressed the difficult issues of teacher certification, course selection, and teacher preparation from a grassroots effort to wide-scale implementation in a few months.
      • March 7Western Wyoming Community College and Sheridan County School District #2 & Sheridan College
        • Join Carla Hester-Croff from Western Wyoming Community College for a session on how teachers are implementing Computer Science (CS) in the classroom and what resources are available for the state of Wyoming in Computer Science.
        • Join us to learn about a Community K-14 Computer Science Initiative which will describe the collaborative efforts of Sheridan County School District No. 2, Sheridan College, and Whitney Benefits to build a comprehensive approach to K-14 computer science education.
      • March 21: Wyoming Department of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) and Dr. Mike Borowczak, University of Wyoming
        • The number of significant Cyber attacks continue to increase each year – affecting more U.S. Citizens, and resulting in significant financial and personal losses. Arlen Fletcher with ETS will  have a discussion focused on simple things that can be done to protect your system(s) at work, and at home. Arlen will also touch on the shortage of trained cyber security professionals in the U.S. and the impact it is having on our online (and physical) safety. For the second part of their presentation ETS will discuss a quick overview of the Scrum software development process, and how they have used it to be more successful in delivering quality software to our customers.
        • In this session, Mike Borowczak, University of Wyoming faculty member in computer science will provide an overview of how cybersecurity permeates all of society and how we can better prepare our society by focusing on educating our students in best practices, fundamental ideas, and practical applications. The newly formed Cybersecurity Education And Research (CEDAR) center and lab at the University of Wyoming focuses, as the name implies, first on education at the university level and beyond. As part of its core mission, CEDAR actively seeks out and applies for grants to support K-12 education and outreach. CEDAR has already secured, in partnership with faculty in Education and Engineering, a 2018 NSA/NSF grant to support two one-week long summer camp opportunities in Wyoming. COWPOKES-CS is the first NSA GenCyber funded program in the state of Wyoming and will support 12 teachers and 60 middle/high-school students in two camps during the summer of 2018. These free week-long day-camps provide participants with activity-based experiences in computational thinking, computer science, and cybersecurity. Locations for the two July camps are Shoshoni, WY and Laramie, WY. Details for sign-up and registration are forthcoming, and will be available on the CEDAR website.
      • April 4: Apple and NCAR
        • Coding is an essential skill that teaches problem-solving, develops teamwork, and inspires creativity. Join Apple to learn how you can engage elementary through high school students in the world of coding on iPad with visual-based apps, Swift Playgrounds, and Everyone Can Code resources designed for teachers.
        • The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) employs individuals working in various computational science fields such as software engineering, networking, and computing facility management. This session will discuss computational science staffing needs at NCAR and how K-12 education can support these needs. In addition, this session will explore educational tools and activities developed by NCAR to help facilitate computational thinking.
      • April 18: ESRI and Black Butte High School
        • ESRI build ArcGIS, a mapping and spatial analytics software.
        • Creation and use of GIS in the classroom including example lessons and descriptions and use of computer science software and helpful classroom applications.
      • May 2: James Kapptie, Platte County School District #1 and Sheridan High School Computer Science
        • The What & The Why! Culture Culture Culture.  We can only be what we want to be when we understand the purpose.  James Kapptie’s roll has been to participate in schools by training staff, parents and students on the value and purpose of computer science.  How can CS impact and be implemented without becoming that “one more thing.” Culture starts with purpose and understanding and the better we develop that in our schools the easier it becomes to impact our students future.
        • Sheridan College and Sheridan County School District #2 are two years into a unique partnership to improve computer science education at both their institutions. One of the most tangible products of this partnership so far is the evolution of the computer science classes at Sheridan High School. Together the two institutions have developed a “low friction” approach to instruction that reduces time and cost barriers for the school district and improves student outcomes. Our presentation will outline the current array of coding classes at SHS. Then we’ll go into some detail on our tool set and the difference in learning we saw when we switched from our original AP Computer Science Principles learning environment to our current one.
      • May 16: PTSB and Sheridan County School District #2 ‘Rube Goldberg Club’
        • The Professional Teaching Standards Board will discuss pathways for educators and districts to obtain Computer Science certifications and well as program recommendations.
        • Rube Goldberg Club: Often when we think of computer science and computational thinking we think about programming code. What we sometimes neglect is the thinking behind good programming. Good programming is fundamentally an act of creativity; using the tools at your disposal (coding language with all its limitations) to create software that will ultimately guide hardware to complete a beneficial task. A Rube Goldberg Machine, a whimsical machine built to complete a simple task in as complex a fashion as possible, seems a world apart. Yet, it is a fantastic way to introduce young minds to the same thinking skills: breaking a problem down into solvable steps, creating solutions, execution and evaluation of the solution, and refinement. All of this is accomplished with hot, glue, marbles, and if truly desired a bit of computer code.
      • June 6: Project Lead the Way (PLTW) and the University of Wyoming Enterprise for Elevating Educational Excellence
        • Project Lead the Way (PLTW) is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for K-12 students and teachers across the U.S. PLTW empowers students to develop in-demand, transportable knowledge and skills through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. Join us to learn more about their K-12 approach to Computer Science and how PLTW’s Professional Development trainings and resources support teachers as they engage their students in real-world learning.
        • In this session, Dr. Rebecca Watts will provide an overview of the new educator preparation approach developed by the University of Wyoming Trustees Education Initiative (TEI). This newly designed 10-phase model is centered on embedded partnerships with Wyoming school districts. Unique elements of the program include career exploration and two summer institutes for promising high school students, a university preparation program delivered in a modularized format, use of augmented reality technologies, to provide early clinical experiences, simulated peer collaboration and parent communication experiences, extensive guided clinical experiences, a one-year student teaching residency in a Wyoming school, and a four-year professional induction and mentoring program after graduation. The UW-E4 model’s delayed declaration of a specialty area until the end of the first year at UW and the goal of that aspect to provide educator candidates with experiences in all areas of education as a strategy to recruit into high-need areas, including Computer Science. The numbers clearly show that we need to prepare more educators in this specialty, especially as CS becomes an element in the basket of goods.The presentation will be followed by open discussion with questions and answers from participants.

Computer Science Education Task Force

Mission: To provide recommendations, guidance, and best practices focused on developing a robust, aligned computer science education system which will prepare students for future success and the ability to make a difference in a global economy

For more information about the Task Force please click here.

PTSB Pathways to Computer Science

The Professional Teaching Standards Board has several pathways that can lead to computer science certifications. Click  here for an informational flyer. You can also see a flow chart for allowable certification and credits here.

For more information, contact PTSB by visiting them at http://ptsb.state.wy.us/ or calling 307-777-7291.

Resources

The following are optional resources that districts can choose utilize.

Funding Opportunities
Elementary
Middle
High School
College

General Computer Science Resources