Computer Science

The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) announced today the launch of Boot Up Wyoming 2022, 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. Effective July 1, 2018, a computer science course may count as a science course in high school graduation requirements, and may count as either a science course or an “additional math” course in the Hathaway Success Curriculum. Standards must also be developed, approved, and fully implemented at the beginning of the 2022-23 school year.

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

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:

To join this webinar please click here.

  • ESRI build ArcGIS, a mapping and spatial analytics software.

To join this webinar please click here.

    • 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.

To join this webinar please click here.

  • The Professional Teaching Standards Board will discuss pathways for educators and districts to obtain Computer Science certifications and well as program recommendations.
  • 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.

To join this webinar please click here.

  • Project Lead the Way (PLTW) provides transformative learning experiences for K-12 students and teachers across the U.S. We create an engaging, hands-on classroom environment and empower students to develop in-demand knowledge and skills they need to thrive. We also provide teachers with the training, resources, and support they need to engage students in real-world learning.

If you missed any of the webinars, please contact Alicia Vonberg at alicia.vonberg@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.

Computer Science Training Opportunities

  • K-5 Code.org Training
    • June 18 from 8-5 in Riverton
    • STAR Pre-Conference Session
  • 6-10 Code.org Computer Science Discoveries course
    • July 22 in Phoenix, AZ
    • To register please click here.
  • 9-12 Code.org Computer Science Discoveries course
    • July 22 in Phoenix, AZ
    • To register please click here.
  • K-5 Code.org Training
    • July 31 from 8-5 in Gillette
    • STEM Pre-Conference Session
  • K-5 Code.org Training

For more information about Code.org trainings please contact Lander Bachert at 406.662.8233 or lander@bigskycodeacademy.org.

  • MSP RAMPED II-COWPOKES – Focusing on integrating machine learning, anomaly detection, computational thinking, and programming
    • June 25-29 and July 16-20 at the UW campus
      • Wait list
  • NSA GenCyber – Focusing on integrating CS into classroom content
    • July 2-6 in Riverton
    • July 16-20 in Laramie
  • MillaporeSigma TACoS – Focusing on everyday CS, art/microbes, and agriculture for K-12 students
    • June 11-15 in Laramie
  • UW ESP4T
    • July 9-13 in Laramie
      • Wait list
    • July 16-20 in Laramie
      • Wait list
  • NSF SWARMS – CS and engineering education are emphasized as integrated components in science teaching
    • 3 semesters long post-bac graduate certificate teaching certification funding program
    • 25 certified math and science teachers to date
    • Summer/Fall/Spring each year
  •  NSF EPSCoR – 5-year grant focusing on microbes and use of the Data Discovery Tool (CS tool)
    •  Reach is at least 75 future math/science teachers by 2022

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.

Resources

The following are optional resources that districts can choose utilize.

Funding Opportunities
Elementary
Middle
High School
College

General Computer Science Resources