There’s an exciting new computer science conference coming to Colorado this summer, Rock CS. Created by Adams 12 Five Star Schools and St. Vrain Valley School District, Rock CS is funded by the Colorado Department of Education’s Computer Science Teacher Education (CSEd) Grant Program and is free to attend. Throughout the day, educators will explore innovative strategies for the CS classroom and learn how to integrate ISTE’s new Computational Thinking standards into core content.
For more information on the conference, we checked in with Anna Otto, one of the conference organizers from Adams 12 Five Star Schools.
How did the idea for this conference come to be?
At one of the Colorado Computer Science Leaders meetings I attended last year, our group was discussing the need for local, free, high-quality computer science professional development. It was the consensus of the group that there were not enough affordable options in the area. It was at that meeting that I started wondering if our district might be able to somehow organize a state-wide computer science conference. I floated the idea that day, and people were excited at the thought. So Bobbie Bastian (our high school CS coordinator) and I started brainstorming ways to make it happen!
What can educators expect to learn at Rock CS?
Rock CS will have sessions for all grades and ability levels! Session topics will include computational thinking integration, Agile group project management, cryptography, and physical computing as well as sessions on equity in computer science instruction, planning for district or school-wide implementations, and more! We’re looking forward to offering sessions that will be helpful to everyone: administrators, computer science elective teachers, and other content teachers interested in integrating computer science or computational thinking.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned while organizing the conference?
There are so many amazing things happening in K-12 computer science education! We had more presentation submissions than we had expected, and they were amazing. I wish we could include them all, but alas, space is limited.
What are you most looking forward to on the day of the conference?
I’m most looking forward to seeing our vision come together. My hope is that teachers will be excited and energized to have a place to learn together and to collaborate around computer science education. Although it’s really starting to take off, K-12 computer science education is still in its infancy. It’ll be nice to have an opportunity to gather with other local, like-minded individuals and learn from one another.
What: Rock CS
When: June 6, 2019, 7:30am-4:00pm
Where: Adams 12 Educational Support Center, 1500 E 128th Avenue, Thornton, CO 80241-2602
- Keynotes from Jake Baskin, Executive Director of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and Ruthe Farmer, Chief Evangelist for CSforALL
- Beginner to advanced sessions available
Whether you’re a dedicated computer science teacher or a classroom teacher, this conference is for you!
For more information or to sign up - visit www.rockcs.org