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Have no fear!  The champions of computer science are here!  April 30th was an AWESOME day filled with aha’s, questions, and gifts as over 25 Central Oregon 4th-8th grade teachers dove into activities that promoted computer science literacy in the classroom.  Eight teachers from Redmond schools attended this professional development to begin to bring more understanding of why computer science is such a necessary component to a student’s education, and HOW to do it in an already pressed for time schedule with so much other required curricula to cover.  With that in mind, the Central Oregon STEM Hub and Oregon Computer Science Teachers Association partnered with Mike Nye, Redmond’s Assistant Director of Instructional Technology, Vickie Perryman, Redmond’s Instructional Technology Coach,  and Bend-LaPine’s Instructional Technology Coach, Scott McDonald, to design and showcase some activities and resources in hopes to inspire teachers to bring back to their students.  These activities were engaging, hands-on and (mostly) unplugged, but more importantly, easy for teachers to implement in the classroom with NO COMPUTER SCIENCE KNOWLEDGE NECESSARY!  Using OCSTA’s Computer Science Standard Framework to guide in choosing the type of activities, students (and teachers) can get a better idea of all that computer science encompasses (not just coding). Oh, and the best part of the day?  Derek Runberg, from SparkFun Electronics, presented the ins and outs, and ease, of programming a microbit (mini computer), how you can use this easily programmable tool with kids, and how to integrate it with core curriculum.  AND, all teachers walked away with their own microbit from SparkFun!!  It was an amazing day, to say the least.  Want to know more about these activities so you can start implementing some computer science awareness for your students?  Here’s how:

  1. Go to Central Oregon STEM Hub’s Lending Library
  2. Click on “click this link to fill out the form” to complete the Google Form
  3. In 24 hours you will receive membership access.

You will receive an email from Lend-Items to confirm your registration. Now you have access to borrow all of the CO STEM Hub’s awesome resources, including the Computer Science Activities.  You can also check out Code.org and CS Unplugged for more ready to go computer science lessons.

Also, don’t forget to talk to your champions from the Redmond School District that attended, and ask them what the activities were like and how you can get started, too!

Lynch Elementary – Jill Briskey, Christina Connelly, and Natalie Richards
Tuck Elementary – Joe Swanson
Sage Elementary – Dan Guilfoy
Terrebonne Community School – Sue Martin
EGMS – Emily Holdsworth
RSD Instructional Technology Coach – Vickie Perryman
RSD Assistant Director to Instructional Technology – Mike Nye

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