The Computer Science Teachers Association of Arizona


October 2020

Twitter: @AzCsta  |  Facebook: CSTA-Arizona
CSTA-Arizona News & Updates
September Community Call
CSTA-Arizona hosted our September Community Call on Tuesday September 29th. The agenda featured:
  • SciTech Institute & CS Education Month
    Presenter: Kelly Greene - SciTech COO
  • Vidcode Platform
    Presenter: Alexandra Diracles - CEO & Co-founder
  • State Policy Forum
    Presenter: Alexis Harrigan - Director of State Government Affairs,
  • Community Updates
Computer Science State Policy Forum
The annual Computer Science State Policy Forum brings together legislators, education officials, state advocates, industry, national organizations, and representatives from state executive offices committed to K-12 computer science education. This year the forum goes virtual, and consists of two sessions. More information here.
Join us October 14 from 10:00 to 11:30 am PT for a panel discussion of how "Computer Science is More Important Than Ever" featuring three state education chiefs. We'll also launch the 2020 State of Computer Science Education. Click here to register for the Policy Forum Plenary.
Join us later on October 14 from 2:30 to 3:30 pm PT for the State of Your State. Learn about and discuss the state of computer science in your state. Click here to register for the State of AZ Policy Session.
Apply for both sessions by October 11, 2020.
CSTA Equity Fellows
The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) is excited to announce the 15 participants of the 2020–21 Equity Fellowship. This year-long program will provide leadership development opportunities to fellows and identify opportunities for the group to develop ongoing, peer-to-peer professional learning experience focused on addressing issues of equity in the computer science classrooms for CSTA members. Click here to read more about each fellow.
In particular, we would like to congratulate CSTA-Arizona board member Leon Tynes for being selected as part of this prestigious group. Leon teaches at the Academy of Math and Sciences - Desert Sky charter school and is one of our CSTA-AZ Phoenix-area Directors. Click below to read more about Leon and his work in Arizona.
PD Opportunity - CS Fundamentals Virtual Workshops
The Arizona Science Center is offering several CS Fundamentals virtual workshops in October and November. The Intro workshop is designed for elementary educators new to teaching computer science who want to explore how to begin teaching the CS Fundamentals curriculum. Join your peers and experienced facilitators to get a hands-on introduction to computer science, pedagogy, overviews of the online curriculum and teacher dashboard, as well as strategies for teaching “unplugged” classroom activities. The workshop is split into smaller chunks over the 3 days in lieu of a full day on zoom. Click below for more information & registration info.
PD Opportunity: CSTA National Events
The National CSTA Organization is hosting the following events:
  • Oct. 8: CSTA Engage - Please join us for our October CSTA Engage Meetup on October 8, 2020, from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. CDT to connect with and learn alongside other K-12 CS teachers. We’ll host a jam-packed hour and a half, worth every minute of your midweek evening. Activities will include a time specifically for networking, a featured PD activity, and two unconference/birds-of-a-feather sessions.
  • Oct. 22: CSTA+ Benefit: GameSalad Webinar - Join us for a webinar on GameSalad! We will go through an extensive demo of the product, and answer and questions. This classroom resource is for grades 5 through 12 and beyond, students learn the fundamentals of computer science while building their own video games with GameSalad. CSTA+ members receive a 25% discount
  • Oct. 27: New Member Orientation - Join us to get your CSTA journey started! Learn about your membership, what programs we have, how to get involved, and what CSTA+ membership is. 
PD Opportunity: AzTEA Annual Conference
Join the Arizona Technology in Education Association (AzTEA) for our 2020 Virtual Fall Conference: Explore, Inspire, & Rejuvenate & grow your EdTech tool box. This virtual conference is focused on strategies and tools that work in all education modalities. Sessions will be led by teachers, coaches, and administrators who are using these tools with their students or in their work. Just a sample of the presentation topics: Google Apps, Microsoft tools, Coding, Drones, AR, Esports, and more. The conference is October 31st - Click here for more information
#CSK8 Podcast
The #CSK8 Podcast explores research, experiences, and perspectives on computer science education with a focus on grades K-8. The hope is to support and promote the #CSK8 and #CSforALL community members by interviewing guests and unpacking scholarship in relation to computer science education. Listen on your favorite platform below or listen to the short trailer to find out more about this podcast.
NCWIT: Virtual Classroom Décor for Computer Science and Tech Educators
National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) has assembled a set of interactive elements to help teachers make all students feel welcome and to maintain and enhance their interest in computing. By adding the elements to their own virtual classrooms, teachers can maintain a positive classroom climate, show students “possible selves” in computing, maintain student interest, and show them career and other opportunities. Learn more about virtual convening by viewing the previously recorded (Aug 2020) "Classroom Climate: Why it’s important and some ways to create/maintain, even virtually."
Curriculum - Popfizz Microbit Curriculum
Popfizz just launched our Microbit Curriculum last week and we're hosting it for free until next semester. The Introduction to Physical Computing with micro:bit PD course covers the basics of physical computing using micro:bit, MakeCode and Python programming language. Feel free to add the course to your dashboard on and check it out. Click Here to access the curriculum.
National Cyber Security Awareness Month
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. The overarching theme for 2020 is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.” The theme empowers individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace, with a particular emphasis on the key message for 2020: “If you connect it, protect it.” Visit for tips and resources.