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Computer Science

What is CS?
What is Computer Science?

Computer Science, or CS for short, is the study of principles, applications and technologies of computing and computers to build problem solving and creative thinking.

Why is CS Important?
Why is CS Important?

Idaho's technology sector is one of the fastest-growing in the nation, and 80% of jobs will require these skills in the near future. CS helps equip you with the skills you need to succeed in any field!

Incorporate Computer Science in the Classroom
Incorporate CS in the Classroom

Funding is available throughout the year for a variety of CS-related projects. Find out how your learning environment can benefit from CS pilot projects or gain access to more technology to support CS education.

Idaho Computer Science News

Computer Science Education Week is December 7th-13th

Thank you for entering our social media contest during #CSEdWeek! Here are our prize winners:

• Alaniss Pierre
• Becca Stroebel Kabasa
• Cody Call (Syringa Middle)
• Kelsey Wells
• Keri Rae Boyle
• Lisa Vertrees
• Mandi May
• Molly Mills
• Wade Dorrell
• Yvonne Stace

Each winner will receive a Raspberry Pi to help their coding journey! For more information visit Raspberry Pi.

Computer Science Education Week

Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) was Dec. 7-13. The event is an annual, global program dedicated to inspiring students to take interest in computer science often by coding. Idaho Gov. Brad Little proclaims Dec. 7-13 Idaho Computer Science Education Week here in the Gem State (video).

It is a great time for anyone age 4 to 104 to try at least one hour of computer science activities, and we want you and your students to participate in Hour of Code (HOC) or some type of CS activity!

PARTICIPATE in CS Education Week by:

  1. CODE ALONG with STEMazing guests across our state, such as IDAHO GOV. BRAD LITTLE, former NASA Astronaut STEVE SWANSON, and our new interim executive director, DR. KAITLIN MAGUIRE!
    Governor Little, Astronaut Steve Swanson, STEM Director Dr. Kaitlin Maguire
    Idaho Gov. Brad Little, former NASA astronaut Steve Swanson, STEM A.C. interim executive director Dr. Kaitlin Maguire
  2. CODE WITH A GAME DESIGNER! CODE WITH A GAME DESIGNER! Idaho-based Blocksmith created “Don’t Yeet the Yeti,” a fun Hour of Code activity for beginners. BlocksmithStudents learn how to edit and create conditional statements, and then they complete an unfinished game by adding JavaScript code to rescue a yeti and their friends! If the code doesn’t work, the yeti will be yeeted, i.e., tossed from the game. Game creators will lead an hour-long session of “Don’t Yeet the Yeti” with students. Visit https://www.blocksmithxr.com/blog/hourofcode to check out their game.
  1. JOIN OUR CONTEST! Hour of Code, which coincides with CS Ed Week, is a super-easy way to spend just one hour learning how fun and easy coding can be. Reach out to your friends and family and spend an hour coding together.

Here’s how:

    1. Like or follow us on Facebook (@IdahoSTEMAC) or Instagram (IdahoSTEMAC)
    2. Participate in Hour of Code by doing some type of CS activity of your choice.
    3. Snap a picture of your Certification of Completion (if you complete a module at org) or a picture of how you participated in Hour of Code (if it is another way, such as Idaho Codes, CS Unplugged activities, etc.)
    4. Post it to Facebook or Instagram with the three hashtags; #CodingIdaho, #IdahoSTEMAC and #CSEdWeek to be entered into our drawings for cool prizes!

* You will automatically be entered for our drawings for various prizes if you follow steps a-d. At the end of CS Ed Week, we will pick several winners.

  1. HOST AN HOUR OF CODE with your students! Participate by trying one of the many, many modules on Code.org’s website. There are modules for beginners, intermediate and advanced users!
  1. Want more CS instruction? Register for our Idaho Codes program. Idaho students in grades 7-12 can learn Web development at home. Idaho Codes is an online, self-paced, 120-hour computer science program that teaches students the foundational skills of building websites and developing apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Visit STEM.idaho.gov/apply/idahocodes for more information.
  1. Need more ideas? We have ADDITIONAL CS RESOURCES. Please visit https://stem.idaho.gov/resources for more resources.

Gov. Little, Hour of Code

Bearden Award for Women in Computer Science

The Idaho STEM Action Center and Ms. Betsy Bearden awarded the Bearden Award for Women in Computer Science to four student coders who completed outstanding Idaho Codes projects (For more information visit our Idaho Codes page). These young women coders spanned the state, attending this virtual award presentation from Jerome, Coeur d’Alene, Boise and Meridian where Ms. Betsy Bearden recognized the students with a cash award of $250 each and encouraged them to continue their pursuit of critical computer science skills.  What’s next for these young women? They will be leading younger students in their early coding engagements for Hour of Code in December during Computer Science Education Week as classroom mentors.

Congratulations to MaeLynne (Jerome), Grace (Coeur d’Alene), Kailyssa (Boise), and Tori (Meridian), you all have a bright future in STEM!

Bearden Award

“Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.” – Steve Jobs

Jessica Taylor interviewed Dr. Hemingway about the national push to incorporate computer science into public education and how close Idaho is to implementing something similar to Wyoming's recent move requiring K-12 public schools to offer C.S. instruction.

33 States Adopted 57 Computer Science Ed Policies since 2018

Excerpt from Education Dive Brief

Idaho's initiative is led by the state’s STEM Action Center, which has funded professional development and resources for educators, allowing communities to host trainings and promotional events around STEM. When Idaho passed legislation in 2018 requiring computer science course offerings in every public school, executive director Angela Hemingway said the state was on “very positive trajectory.”

Now, she said, computer science education is spreading thanks to a “significant need” for it in the job market.

“We recognize that literacy in the 21st century is no longer just having students be able to read,” Hemingway said. “We have to help students understand the importance of computational skills and processes that were not as common in the workforce just a decade ago.”

Hemingway suggested that states and districts looking to expand STEM programs should partner with local industry representatives, as industry stakeholders have a powerful voice at the table when it comes to political state- and district-level funding decisions. Having stakeholder support made Idaho’s initiative successful, she said.

Idaho also established a "bridge" program in February that places teachers in local businesses where they can get hands-on work skills and understand the “complexity of the industry.”

The program is expected to expand as it enters its second year, with an increasing number of teachers applying for placement.

Source - Education Dive, Naaz Modan, September 11, 2019

A special message from Code.org founder, Hadi Partovi, to Idaho, the second state in the country to adopt all nine CS policies!

According to Code.org, Idaho is one of the states leading in Computer Science (CS) nationwide. Code.org is a national non-profit dedicated to expanding access to CS in schools and increasing participation by women and underrepresented minorities. Their vision is that every student in every school has the opportunity to learn CS. They have come up with nine policy recommendations that every state could adopt to help move CS Education forward. Idaho is the second state in the nation behind Arkansas to implement all nine, making CS a fundamental part of education.

Idaho has been a national leader in expanding computer science education for their K12 students. In 2018 Idaho became the second state to adopt all nine Computer Science policies to expand computer science in schools across the state, thanks in part of the to the Idaho STEM Action Center. Watch their video to learn more about what they are doing with KIBO for their young learners!

Source: Kinderlab Robotics Child's Play Newsletter

Code.org, the Computer Science Teachers Association, and the Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) Alliance, a National Science Foundation Broadening Participation in Computing Alliance, released the 2019 State of Computer Science Education report. The report describes the policy trends and momentum over the past 12 months and contains:

  • an analysis of national and state trends in AP CS by gender and race, including the relationship with policy adoption;
  • a map of the states that have enacted particular policies;
  • state-by-state summaries of each state’s progress; and
  • updated data about high schools that teach computer science.

View and/or download the 2019 State of Computer Science Education Report

Other Documents

CS Legislation

CS State Plan

CS Standards

CS White Paper

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