Computer Science March Newsletter

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March 2018

Computer Science

Consider this...

“Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.”

— Edsger W. Dijkstra

Computer Science Framework

K12 CS Framework logo with kids

The  K12 Computer Science Framework is a baseline, essential set of computer science concepts and practices. The focus of the framework is to illuminate powerful ideas in K–12 computer science.

The framework is organized by core concepts and grade bands. The core concepts are Computing Systems, Networks and the Internet, Data and Analysis, Algorithms and Programming, and Impacts of Computing. The grade bands are K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

The K12 Computer Science Framework provides additional information to support implementation of Iowa’s Computer Science Standards.

There are multiple ways to view this framework. View the framework by:

  • Grade Band - organized by grade band.
  • Progression - organized by core concept then subconcept.
  • Concept - organized by concept then grade band.

You can download a complete or abridged copy of the framework statements organized by concept. This complete copy includes detailed descriptions.

Congratulations Iowa City CSD

Iowa City Community School District logo

National Science Foundation Awards Three-Year Grant to Digital Promise Global to Develop K-12 Computational Thinking Pathways

Computer Science Endorsement

In 2017 UNI received a CSforALL grant through a partnership with the National Science Foundation. The grant was used to start a cohort of teachers and districts committed to computer science and its endorsement. UNI is building on this experience to open a second cohort of districts/teachers.  This cohort will begin classwork starting summer of 2019 and will meet in the Des Moines area for the face-to-face components of the course. UNI Partnership for CS Teacher Preparation


CS50: Introduction to Computer Science. A Harvard class available for free, online. You'll learn a broad and robust understanding of computer science and programming, how to think algorithmically and solve programming problems efficiently, and concepts like abstraction, algorithms, data structures, encapsulation, resource management, security, software engineering, and web development.

Subjects listed in shape of an apple with the word Learn in the center

Light Reading

'Physical Computing' Connects Computer Science With Hands-On Learning

A teacher in Virginia uses a micro-controller to connect a computer to a keyboard, allowing kindergarten students to play musical notes that are triggered when they high-five their classmates.

In Colorado, a teacher asks 7th graders to code a random number generator that teaches them programming skills by playing rock, paper, scissors.

These are just two examples of teachers using so-called "physical computing," an emerging instructional strategy that tries to teach students about computer science and computational thinking through physical tools and hands-on activity.

Grant Opportunity

Palm tree with chest of money

American Honda Foundation STEM Grants

Sponsor: American Honda Foundation
Award: $20,000 to $75,000
Number of Awards: Not specified
Application Deadline: Aug. 1 for new organizations


Computer Science Web page

Standards Guidance document

Follow me at @wrenhoffman and be sure to use the hashtag #CSforIA

Share a story or an experience and I’ll include it in the next newsletter.