This month CSTA Iowa shines a spotlight on Rob Cunningham. Rob teaches computer science at Spirit Lake High School at Spirit Lake Community Schools.

CSTA Iowa Spotlight on Rob Cunninghame

District/Organization: Spirit Lake Community Schools
City: Spirit Lake, IA
Describe your teaching position or role:
I currently teach a section of computer science at Spirit Lake High School. I have taught AP Computer Science Principles the last two years and this year I am offering an Intro to Computer Science semester elective using the CS Discoveries curriculum.
What 's your favorite CS concept or lesson to teach? Why?
I really enjoy talking about the internet and how it was created, scaled, and is open to everyone. I like this topic because it is something that students take for granted that it always works. High school students cannot even imagine what life would be like without the internet, but have no concept of how information travels from one person to the other. I think it is an eye opening topic and leads itself to discussing is the internet a want or a need in today's society.
What 's your favorite CS resource? Why?

While I love the curriculum offered by, I really like using the open source. I took a class using R language over the summer and really like that it is an easy open resource for students to use in statistics. I have students use that resource more frequently than a calculator because of how fast and dynamic the language is. It has shown students that coding languages are not scary, but a vital tool that they could use in life after high school.

Why did you join CSTA & CSTA Iowa?
I hope to gain access to a group of people willing to share resources and help one another out. I hope that I can help others who are just starting to teach computer science and share what knowledge I have with others.
I got into computer science just three years ago because I see this huge need for it in schools. Being a rural school, it is nice knowing what other people are doing and finding ways to get the best information to students even though we may have limited resources in the area.