October Updates & Announcements

CSTA 2021 Conference is going Virtual, Again!

CSTA was so excited for CSTA 2021 to be in their hometown of Chicago. However, the health and safety of our members, along with state guidelines for gatherings, has them making the shift to virtual again. They're excited to take everything they learned from CSTA 2020 and make the virtual experience bigger and better!

Mark your calendars to join us from July 14-15, 2021! Registration for the CSTA 2021 Virtual Conference will open later this year. Keep an eye out for more information in your CSTA newsletters and on our social media channels. 
2020-21 Computer Science Professional Development Incentive Fund (CSPDIF) is Open! Applications due 11/9/2020

We're excited to share that the Iowa Department of Education (IDOE) announced that the application process for the Computer Science Professional Development Incentive Fund (CSPDIF) is now open through Nov. 9. Eligible Iowa school districts and accredited nonpublic schools may apply for funding aimed at building the computer science teacher workforce. 

Application support materials are available on the IDOE website to help guide schools and districts through the planning and application processes. Please note, there are changes to the 2020-21 application.

Applications for funding must demonstrate how schools will prepare K-12 educators to teach computer science and expand high-quality computer science instruction based on Iowa’s computer science standards adopted by the State Board of Education. 

The CSPDIF was created through 2017 legislation that encourages computer science in every school in Iowa. It is funded through a state appropriation as well as with dollars from a 2007 settlement of an Iowa class-action lawsuit filed against Microsoft Corp.

Applications should be submitted through IowaGrants. For more information on the CSPDIF, contact Wren Hoffman from our Bureau of Leading, Teaching, Learning Services, at wren.hoffman@iowa.gov.

This is a wonderful opportunity for districts to fund computer science professional development and ensure that all students in Iowa have access to high-quality. PreK-12 computer science instruction! 
CSTA Virtual Teaching Summit Recap
CSTA hosted its first Virtual Teaching Summit Saturday, September 12th. For those able to attend, we'd love to hear your highlights from the summit in the comments below. The amount of content and resources shared were much needed and timely! 
Thank you to those CSTA Iowa members that joined us for our meet-up! We were a small, yet mighty group of midwest CS teachers!
Finally, we'd like to give a HUGE shoutout and thank you to the CSTA Iowa members who contributed to our CSTA Virtual Teaching Summit Collaborative Resource Document! Five different CSTA Iowa members added resources from the summit to share with other CS Educators in Iowa. You'll find CSTA links to session slidedecks, toolkits, and more organized by elementary, middle school, high school, and general resources. 
This is a wonderful and robust resource to share with other CS educators looking for inspiration and strategies to teach CS in a socially distanced, hybrid, or virtual setting!
Did you attend the virtual teaching summit? Have more resources to add & share? Feel free to jump in at bit.ly/CSTAIowaSummit20 and add your resources to the document!
Hello World! We're on Twitter!
Hello World! CSTA Iowa launched our Twitter Account on Saturday, September 12th during the CSTA Virtual Teaching Summit! (Click here to view our CSTA Iowa Collaborative Notes from the event. Thanks to the members that attended and contributed to this document!)
You can follow us by searching for our handle, @IowaCSTA or by clicking here.
We also encourage you to follow our CSTA Iowa Twitter list with CS Educators and members currently using Twitter to connect and share by clicking here. On Twitter? Not on our list? Please email your twitter handle to iowa@csteachers.org and we'll get you added ASAP!
Please tag us in your CS related posts and don't forget to use our hashtag #CSforIA!
NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing - HS Scholarship Opportunity

The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing (AiC) honors 9th-12th grade students who self-identify as women, genderqueer, or non-binary for their computing-related achievements and interests, and encourages them to pursue their passions. Award recipients are selected based on their aptitude and aspirations in technology and computing, as demonstrated by their computing experience, computing-related activities, leadership experience, tenacity in the face of barriers to access, and plans for post-secondary education. Since 2007, more than 17,000 students have received an Award for AiC.

Applicants who meet all of the eligibility requirements outlined at www.aspirations.org/AiCHSAward will be considered for both the National and Regional Affiliate Award designations. You can also view awards and prizes at this website.

Application Details

Students can apply online at www.aspirations.org/AiCHSAward, beginning September 1, 2020 and submit their completed application no later than 11:59pm EST on November 5, 2020.

Nominate an exceptional CS educator for the Iowa STEM Teacher Award

The Iowa STEM Council is currently accepting nominations for the Iowa STEM Teacher Award sponsored by Kemin Industries until October 9th, 2020.

Given annually, this award celebrates STEM teachers who are leading the subject across the state. Their dedication helps increase student interest in and awareness of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. One teacher from each of the six STEM regions will be selected. Award recipients will receive $1,500 to use in their classroom, as well as $1,500 for personal use.

The nomination process is simple, free and open to everyone—including fellow teachers, school administrators, students and parents. Visit https://iowastem.gov/teacheraward-application to submit a nomination.

Now, more than ever, the Iowa STEM Council wants to highlight the amazing work being done by Iowa Teachers to provide authentic STEM experiences and opportunities for Iowa youth.


October Learning & Connection Opportunities

We've got a lot of opportunities to share with you this month!
DON'T MISS these opportunities coming up QUICK:
- This week: Thursday 10/15 - October Virtual Networking & Social Hour at 7p - Click here to register now
- Next week: Tuesday 10/20 - Member Meeting with Iowa CS Educator Scheduling and Pathways Panels (elem, MS, HS) at 7p - Click here to register now
💗 Please invite a school administrator or counselor to join you for this event. It's a great way to learn about the many ways districts across Iowa are providing CS learning for PreK-12 students. 💗
9-12 Iowa Computer Science Standards Self-paced Course from AEA Learning Online
Online, self-paced course
Oct 19, 2020 8:00 AM -
Jun 30, 2021 11:30 PM
K-8 Iowa Computer Science Standards Self-paced Course from AEA Learning Online
Online, self-paced course
Oct 19, 2020 8:00 AM -
Jun 30, 2021 11:30 PM
Supporting Technology Literacy K-8 with Scratch Programming
Asynchronous course
Jan 11, 2021 - Feb 24, 2021
35th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence
Virtual Conference
Feb 06, 2021 - Feb 07, 2021
CSTA Iowa February Virtual Member Meeting & Social Hour
Feb 09, 2021
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Equity in Action Summit
Virtual Summit
Mar 06, 2021
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
CSTA Iowa March Virtual Member Meeting & Social Hour
Mar 09, 2021
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
View entire list

October Member Spotlight

CSTA Iowa Spotlight on Wren Hoffman
This month CSTA Iowa shines a spotlight on Wren Hoffman. Wren is a member CSTA Iowa's Leadership team serving as our Advocacy Agent and is the Computer Science Consultant at the Iowa Department of Education.
Step up to the Spotlight!
Please click the button below so we can highlight the great CS work you're doing too!

Welcome to #CSforIA!

A warm welcome to our new members this month! 
  • Jess Painter - College Community School District
  • Andrew Berns - University of Northern Iowa
  • Marisa Dahl - Heartland AEA
CSTA Iowa supports and connects educators across Iowa with teaching Computer Science.
Please contact any member of the CSTA Iowa Leadership team with questions, concerns, and ideas!
Digital Learning Consultant 
Grant Wood AEA
Iowa City
Vice President
Web & Mobile Instructor
Waterloo Career Center/Hawkeye CC
7-12 Science & CS Teacher
North Mahaska Jr/Sr High
Calculus, PreCalculus, CSP, CSA, Statistics Teacher
MOC-Floyd Valley High School
Past President
Environmental Science, AP CS, AP Research
Central Academy
Des Moines
Community Partner
Director K-12 Education
Cedar Rapids
Advocacy Agent
Computer Science Consultant
Iowa Department of Education

About Us

CSTA Iowa supports and connects educators across Iowa with teaching Computer Science in many forms.

Whether you teach CSP to high school students or integrate coding into elementary literacy, we're here to share resources, support your practice, and connect you with CS educators across our great state!
Visit our website: iowa.csteachers.org

Questions? Suggestions?

CSTA Iowa is here to support you! Please share questions and suggestions with any leadership team member or at iowa@csteachers.org

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