Computer Science and Coding

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.

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 will be held on the first and third Wednesdays of each month beginning in January 2018.

All webinars will be from 2-4 p.m. with the first hour featuring an industry partner and the last hour highlighting the computer science initiatives of Wyoming school districts. All webinars will be presented on Zoom.

The tentative schedule follows:

  • 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
    • To join this webinar please click here.
      • 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
    • To join this webinar please click here.
  • March 21: Wyoming Department of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) and Dr. Mike Borowczak, University of Wyoming
    • To join this webinar please click here.
  • April 4: Industry Partner TBD and School District TBD
    • To join this webinar please click here.
  • April 18: ESRI and Black Butte High School
    • To join this webinar please click here.
  • May 2: Google and Sheridan High School Computer Science
    • To join this webinar please click here.
  • May 16: PTSB and School District TBD
    • To join this webinar please click here.
  • June 6: Project Lead the Way (PLTW) and Teton County School District #1
    • To join this webinar please click here.

If you missed any of the webinars, please contact Alicia Vonberg at alicia.vonberg@wyo.gov to get the recording.

Girls Go CyberStart

Governor Matt Mead has announced the “Girls Go CyberStart Challenge” – a Cybersecurity initiative sponsored by the SANS Institute. SANS is a trusted and significant source for information security training and security certification in the world.

This competition will help contestants learn cyber security and test their skills through a no-cost online game called CyberStart. “The Girls Go CyberStart Challenge is an opportunity for students to learn to protect digital assets while honing skills in  technology,” said Governor Mead. “Cybersecurity and computer technology are career fields that have seen tremendous growth over the last decade. Jobs in technology are in high demand and are high paying. This gives kids the chance to learn more and it fits well with the ENDOW initiative.”

Participants in the Girls Go CyberStart Challenge will have the opportunity to share in $150 scholarships, registration, and travel to Chicago for the Women in CyberSecurity Conference (WiCyS) on March 23-24 in Chicago, Illinois. WiCyS is a community engagement,
encouragement and support for women in cybersecurity. Despite the growing demand and tremendous opportunities in the job market, cybersecurity remains an area where there is a significant shortage of skilled professionals regionally, nationally and internationally.

To be eligible to play in Girls Go CyberStart Challenge, students must be:

  • Female
  • Enrolled in 9-12th grade at a public or private school or the homeschool equivalent
  • A resident in one of the following U.S. states: American Samoa, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming.

No prior computer knowledge is needed and students from all educational backgrounds  are welcomed. If students enjoy solving problems, logically working through challenging tasks and learning new skills, then they will have what they need to succeed at the Girls Go CyberStart Challenge.

Registration opens on January 29 and closes February 16. Game play begins at 7 a.m. MST on February 20, and ends at 9:59 p.m. MST on February 25.

More information and registration can be found on the Girls Go CyberStart website.

Resources

Legislative Information and Memos
Elementary
Middle
High School
College

General Computer Science Resources

Coding Professional Development Opportunities