Published: Oct. 7, 2015

Linz Craig teaches the "Running the Code Obstacle Course" class during the Computing by Design Symposium at Timberline K-8

Photo by Lewis Geyer/Longmont Daily Times-Call

In the days after researchers from CU-Boulder hosted a K-12 computer science symposium for the St. Vrain Valley School District, SVVSD’s Axel Reitzig reported that he could already see the excitement about computer science growing in his district.

“One of the principals who attended … spoke very highly about the symposium and even stated that it was the best professional development she had experienced in a very long time,” said Reitzig, the Robotics and Computer Science Coordinator at the SVVSD Innovation Center. “One of my STEM coordinator colleagues (said) the symposium was a game-changer for her in that it really elevated her understanding of both the scope and importance of computer science.  She and her staff are super excited to develop a ‘season’ of code at their school.”

The daylong Computing by Design workshop was hosted by Engaging Computer Science in Traditional Education (ECSITE) Project and the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), along with SVVSD Innovation Center. More than 70 teachers, administrators and STEM coordinators attended, with the goal of beginning to develop a K-12 computer science framework for the district.

ECSITE Director Debra Goldberg said that framework is vital for students today.

“In the 21st century, even students who will not become computer professionals will need to have some understanding of how computers work and what they can do,” she said. “For example, they should be able to assess the reliability of computational answers they get, reduce the risk of identity fraud, and understand when contacting a computer professional can save them much time and money (and when it can’t).”

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