Computer Science May Newsletter

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May 2019

Computer Science

Consider this...

“People think that computer science is the art of geniuses but the actual reality is the opposite, just many people doing things that build on each other, like a wall of mini stones.”

— Donald Knuth


Standards (CSTA) Website Change

The CSTA website changed over the weekend. The new design requires you to be a member In order to view the standards. They ask you to fill out a form and then choose a membership type. You are welcome to become a CSTA+ member for $50, but the basic membership ($0) will get you access to the standards. Please let Wren Hoffman,, know if you are having trouble.


CS PD Incentive Fund

The Iowa Department of Education is once again accepting applications for funding that Iowa schools and districts can use to build the computer science teacher workforce. The deadline for applications is May 20.

The new Computer Science Professional Development Incentive Fund will provide school districts, nonpublic schools and collaboratives of school systems to pay for professional learning or university coursework to build the capacity of educators to deliver high-quality computer science instruction at each grade level.

The incentive fund 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 for funding must demonstrate how schools will expand high-quality computer science instruction based on new computer science standards adopted by the State Board of Education today. Contact Wren Hoffman,, with questions.


Congratulations - CS is Elementary

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the six schools selected to each receive $50,000 grants through the Computer Science is Elementary project. The six schools, which Gov. Reynolds named at the 2019 Future Ready Iowa-STEM Summit, are:

  • Denison Elementary in the Denison Community School District.
  • Lenihan Intermediate in the Marshalltown Community School District.
  • Cora B. Darling Elementary in the Postville Community School District.
  • East Union Elementary in the East Union Community School District.
  • Perry Elementary in the Perry Community School District.
  • Richardson Elementary in the Fort Madison Community School District.

The Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and the Iowa Department of Education are partnering with business and industry on this project to transform these six high-poverty elementary schools into models of innovative computer science instruction. The goal is to create opportunities for students and a statewide network of computer science expertise.


Learning Opportunities

Apple shaped image with the word Learn in it

Introduction to Computational Thinking for Every Educator

In the digital age, computational thinking (CT) is an essential skill for students and educators alike. This systematic approach to solving problems is at the foundation of not just computer science, but many other subject areas – and careers – as well.

Developed with support from Google, Introduction to Computational Thinking for Every Educator unpacks how CT can be integrated throughout subject areas and grade levels. Through this course, you’ll increase your awareness of CT, experiment with CT-integrated activities for the subject areas you teach, and create a plan to incorporate CT into your curricula.

Khan Academy new AP CS Principles course

This review course includes 600+ practice questions, plus instructional articles and videos covering the topics of computers, the Internet, programming, algorithms, and data analysis.

Professional Learning for Middle and High School from Scholarships are available!

This year, thousands of K-12 teachers are eligible to attend’s professional learning workshop at no cost to them or their school. is bringing computer science courses to grades K-12 so every student has the opportunity to learn this foundational field, regardless of background, race, or gender. They offer professional development programs for teachers to begin teaching computer science (no previous experience necessary!).


Light Reading

The Two Codes Your Kids Need to Know



Pioneering Excellence For Better Computer Science Now


Grant Opportunity

Palm tree with chest of money

Sony Grants for Education

Deadline: Ongoing (grants awarded on a rolling basis)







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.