Computer Science September Newsletter

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September 2019

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Interact with Iowa's CS Standards

Did you know you can filter the CS standards to view only the ones that pertain to you? You can also easily download Iowa's Computer Science Standards on the CSTA website. There are two formats available for download, a progression chart showing all standards for grades K-10 on a two-page table and a complete list of all the standards with the their description.


Congratulations! CS PD Incentive Fund

The Computer Science Professional Development Incentive Fund 2019-2020 grants have been awarded! Earlier this year Iowa’s Legislature appropriated $500,000 to increase the capacity of Iowa’s teachers to teach computer science. Thirty-one applications from across the state were submitted and scored. The following districts are the 2019-20 recipients:

  • Bondurant-Farrar Community School District
  • Cedar Falls Community School District
  • Central Decatur Community School District
  • Clear Lake Community School District
  • Durant Community School District
  • Earlham Community School District
  • Estherville Lincoln Central Community School District
  • Great Prairie Area Education Agency
  • Louisa-Muscatine Community School District
  • Marshalltown Community School District
  • Mason City Community School District
  • MOC-Floyd Valley Community School District
  • Spirit Lake Community School District
  • Storm Lake Community School District
  • Waukee Community School District


Congratulations! CS is Elementary

The Computer Science is Elementary project, a collaboration between the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and the Department of Education, has awarded an additional six elementary schools $50,000 to incorporate computer science into their daily teaching and learning. The project will transform these 12 high-poverty elementary schools into models of innovative computer science instruction. The 12 schools are:

  • Cora B. Darling in the Postville CSD
  • Denison Elementary in the Denison CSD
  • East Union Elementary in the East Union CSD
  • Franklin Elementary in the Boone CSD
  • Kingsley-Pierson Elementary in the Kingsley-Pierson CSD
  • Lenihan Intermediate in the Marshalltown CSD
  • Hospers Elementary in the MOC-Floyd Valley CSD
  • Perry Elementary in the Perry CSD
  • Pocahontas Elementary in the Pocahontas Area CSD
  • Richardson Elementary in the Fort Madison CSD
  • Storm Lake Elementary in the Storm Lake CSD
  • Whittier Elementary in the Clinton CSD.


Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning

Work-based learning empowers students to apply what they are learning in the classroom to high-quality, real-world professional experiences. The Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning offers new opportunities for K-12 students, employers and teachers. The Clearinghouse is a virtual space that connects students and schools with employers statewide through shared work-based learning projects including virtual projects, internships and apprenticeships. There are two key features of the Clearinghouse:

  • A project board in which Iowa employers post real-world tasks that students complete under the supervision of their teachers.
  • A business partner directory for teachers to find other kinds of work-based learning opportunities, such as internships, that employers have expressed interest in.


To be or not to be in code

Computer Science at the ITEC 2019 Fall Conference

The ITEC Fall Conference 2019 is October 13-15, 2019 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, IA. There are sessions on a variety of topics and quite a few specifically on computer science. Take a look and I’ll see you there!


Computational Thinking and Science

Engaging Students in Computational Thinking During Science Investigations Computational thinking—as an NGSS science & engineering practice—is a way of thinking, of working & of approaching problems using computers as problem solving tools. Learn how to integrate that focus into your science education investigations.


Nominate a Presidential Scholar by Sept. 30

The Iowa Department of Education is seeking nominations for outstanding high school seniors for the 2019-20 U.S. Presidential Scholars selection cycle. We encourage you to nominate students who, while demonstrating outstanding scholarship, might not otherwise be nominated through the current SAT/ACT, arts, or CTE recognition processes. If you have an outstanding high school senior deserving of consideration, submit a nomination through the Department’s online Presidential Scholar Nomination Form by Sept 30.


Recognize Outstanding Iowa STEM Teachers

Know an outstanding STEM teacher? Nominate them today for the 2020 I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award, sponsored by Kemin Industries! 

This award recognizes leadership and dedication that increases student interest in and awareness of STEM. Recipients receive $1,500 for their classroom, along with an additional $1,500 for personal use. The deadline to complete nominations is Friday, October 4. The nomination process is simple and open to everyone. For more information, visit


Cyber Robotics Coding Competition

Registration is now open for the third annual Cyber Robotics Coding Competition. The competition consists of four phases where students are taught the foundations of coding and robotics and compete to win awards. "The best thing about CRCC is that teachers or students don't need prior coding or robotics knowledge to compete," said CoderZ CEO Ido Yerushalmi.



William Penn University is offering the methods course and field experience required for the new Computer Science Endorsement. Contact Susan Boxler to apply and to ask questions



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.