Posted by CSTA Conference Committee on May 13, 2022

Here are some suggestions from the Equity Committee.

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CSTA 2022 features over 200 sessions, and you don’t want to miss it! We know that navigating that much content can be overwhelming, so the Conference Committee has highlighted these highest scored equity sessions.

Empowering Student Voice through Data & Practice

Presented by Jacqueline Corricelli 
July 16, from 10:30-11:30 a.m.
CAPE (capacity, access, participation, and equity) is a framework designed to assess equity throughout the computer science education ecosystem. Based on work initiated by the University of Texas at Austin and supported by a grant from Google, the CAPE framework was used to perform a large-scale analysis of CS equity in the state of Texas.  This session will highlight some of the ways regular CS educators can use CAPE’s data points, strategies, and tools to better understand their own school districts and empower student voices. Whether you are a classroom teacher or an advocate for change at the institutional or district level, CAPE can help illuminate inequities and inspire solutions. Attend this session to learn how to use data to expose, understand, and solve problems with and for students.

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel! CS Curriculum Evaluation Done for You!

Presented by Melissa Zeitz, Jacob Foster, David Petty, Anne DeMallie, and Lisa Manzi 
July 16, from 2:30-3:30 p.m. 
Finding a quality CS curriculum that aligns to standards, meets the needs of diverse learners, and contributes to a coherent progression of learning can be a challenge. But there’s no need to reinvent the wheel! The Massachusetts Department of Education has developed a Digital Literacy and Computer Science (DLCS) Curriculum Guide to help K-12 educators choose quality curricula that meet their CS program goals. Come to this session to learn how our work can help you select a high quality curriculum for your school.  The curriculum guide includes DLCS core and supplementary curricula spanning across grades K-12. Each curriculum summary attends to state standards alignment, teacher and student supports, and accessibility for diverse populations. Central to this work is a set of criteria and a review process that help educators understand the strengths and limitations of a curriculum.  In this session, we provide an overview of this work, the process and criteria used to review CS curricula, and the publicly available curriculum guide. Participants will apply a portion of the review process to assess a curricular unit for several criteria focused on equity and inclusion. This is an area of continual development in our efforts to enhance the review process and its outcomes, so we will also illustrate how emerging resources are incorporated into our process. This session and the curriculum guide can be useful to all CS educators as they choose curricula for their classrooms.

Cultivating Inclusive STEM and Computer Science Environments for Girls

Presented by Nancye Blair Black
July 15, from 1-2 p.m.
Girls are creators, problem solvers, and dreamers; yet all too often, they are underrepresented in STEM and computer science classes, degree programs, and workplaces. This powerful and interactive session will uncover intersectional barriers to girls’ participation and interest in STEM and computer science. We’ll explore how media portrayals of women and corporate tech culture create stereotypes that can either empower or discourage girls from taking courses or pursuing careers in STEM fields, and we’ll discuss what we can do to overcome stereotype threat. We’ll also look at the research-based design of gender-friendly educational spaces and share learning approaches that are proven to keep girls excited about learning, making, and coding. Attendees will leave with timely, action-oriented strategies to positively impact girls’ future STEM and computer science access and participation.
Equity and Student Engagement 
Presented by Jason Slabodsky, Sophia Mendoza, Francisco Canche, Marquita Jones, Yvonne Loya, Maria Magnamino-Toledo, and Renee Sanchez 
July 17, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. 
Engage with these mini sessions: 
  • Leadership Strategies for Change: Embracing Computer Science Education in LAUSD 
  • STEM Integration to Promote Student Engagement and Equity
  • Gotta Catch ‘Em All: Active and Equitable Student Recruitment

Meaningful Mentoring: Voices from the JROTC-CS Adopt-A-School Partnership Program

Presented by Karen Cheng and Tina Boyle White 
July 15, from 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Amidst the many challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it has become more evident that students need access and mentorship to be inspired about and get involved in the fields of computer science and cybersecurity. In February 2021, CSforALL launched its first-ever corporate engagement program, partnering with Capital One, Lockheed Martin, and Google in an effort to increase access to computer science and cybersecurity opportunities for Title I schools. Participating schools were matched with corporate partners to work together in implementing high-quality computer science education while providing resources and interests aligned with students’ unique needs. Company employees provided mentorship through opportunities like discussion series, guest lectures, live demonstrations, and collaborations with teachers to align pedagogy to industry pathways.  In this celebratory session, we’ll hear stories from corporate partners and school-based participants who have developed meaningful mentorships through the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC)-CS Adopt-A-School program. We will also share our vision for the next iteration of the program in ongoing partnership with Capital One, Google, Lockheed Martin, and Microsoft.

Cultural Equity in Computer Science
Presented by Tara Linney

July 17, from 10:30-11:30 p.m. 
In this session, we examine the topic of cultural equity, identifying where it exists in the field of computer science and considering how we can bridge equity gaps in education. As educators, we have the power to help level the tech playing field today and in the future. This session focuses on strategies to make computer science more inclusive in schools, thereby ensuring that students of all cultures have equitable opportunities to develop an understanding of computer science. Attendees will participate in hands-on learning activities that can be transferred into the classroom environment. Session materials will be shared, allowing participants to easily make use of the tools and strategies shared in this session.

Lessons Learned from Leading a District-Wide Computer Science Initiative

Presented by Sophia Mendoza 
July 15, from 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Hear directly from leaders from the nation’s second-largest school district who are leading their computer science education expansion to ensure district-wide equity, access, and opportunity. During this session, attendees will learn about one district’s social justice implementation strategy, next steps, and what they would have done differently if they had it all to do again. Presenters will share the top ten takeaways for leading a computer science initiative, and participants will walk away inspired to implement their own computer science education initiatives.

Beyond the Flyer: Actionable Ways to Grow your CS Program

Presented by Jennifer Manly
July 16, from 9-10 a.m.
Computer science teachers everywhere have an awesome opportunity to work toward growing their CS program. In this session, participants will build their own toolkit of active recruiting strategies that are effective and easy to implement. The earlier students take a computer science course, the more likely they are to pursue CS after high school. This statistic holds even truer for girls and students from other underrepresented groups, which means that every CS teacher can support the movement toward increased diversity in CS education.  Hanging up flyers that encourage students to take CS won’t cut it; it’s a passive recruiting method that attracts students who already know they’re interested. Instead, learn new, active recruiting strategies that are easy to implement, effective, and capable of reaching students who may not know CS is an option for them, or may not even know your course exists! With the tools offered in this session, you’ll be on your way to growing a CS program in your school that represents all students. Plus, it’s more fun-and more effective-than the flyer.

Equity in Computer Science Education for High Schools

Presented by Hany Eldeib 
July 16, 1-2 p.m. 
In this session, a DC school presents its experience in developing a computer science, robotics, and engineering program that advances the participation of underrepresented students in these fields. Bard High School Early College was established in August 2019 as a partnership between Bard College and the District of Columbia Public Schools. Located in southeast DC, the school serves a population that is 95% Black and 70% female. When the school embarked on developing its computer science, robotics and engineering program, initial interest from students seemed low. However, the program succeeded in doubling the number of students in one year, now offering two classes yearly, with approximately 25 students in each. By partnering with industry and government organizations, the program received generous support that allowed it to obtain computer science curricula and robotics kits. We will share our story and seek collaboration with others involved in teaching and promoting equity for underrepresented communities in high school computer science. We hope to form alliances with others in the field to develop best practices in our efforts.

Using Data in a Research-Practice Partnership to Support New York City’s CS4All Mission

Presented by José Angel Olivares Gómez, Michelle Kennedy, AiMei Chang, Tunisia Mitchell
July 15, 10:30-11:30 a.m. 
New York City launched the CS4All initiative in 2015 with the mission of bringing high-quality computer science education to all students, particularly female, Black, and Latinx students. To support this effort, Education Development Center and the New York City Department of Education engaged in a research-practice partnership (RPP), with a focus on expanding equity in AP CSP while supporting school teams in providing equitable computer science experiences broadly. Problems of practice targeted by the RPP include scaling curriculum and professional development, diversifying student recruitment for AP CSP courses, and designing supports for CS school teams, including teacher leaders and school administrators. By engaging in targeted data collection and analysis for each of these problems of practice, the RPP has informed the broader CS4All work in three main ways: how to look at data to derive learning and inform practice; how to integrate data and disseminate results to ensure equitable access in informing instruction and policy; and how to develop school-level and district-wide approaches to increase engagement among stakeholders. This presentation will encourage the audience to think strategically about how to inform practice in these three ways across varying problems and contexts, all with the goal of providing equitable computer science education across grades K-12.

The Student-Led Classroom Toolkit

Presented by Jennifer Manly 
July 15, 10:30-11:30 a.m. 
All students deserve learning experiences focused on solving real-world, authentic problems, allowing them to practice collaboration, communication, and creativity. As more tasks and jobs are becoming automated, it’s vital to prepare our students for the workforce by empowering them to be collaborative problem solvers, creative innovators, and reflective, lifelong learners.   Imagine a classroom of 30 students, each working on an individual or paired project for a client in the real world. Both inspiring and daunting, right? While 21st-century learning is a popular ideal in today’s education conversation, few tools exist to help teachers facilitate authentic, meaningful learning on a full-class scale.   In this session, participants will learn tangible tools and strategies to help transform their computer science classrooms into places where students do work that matters to them right now. Through classroom management methods that empower student coaching and collaboration, assessment tools that amplify and inspire creativity, tips for building student tenacity, and strategies to manage over 100 unique projects at once without losing your mind, teachers will leave this session ready to transform their classrooms from student centered to student led.

Together We Can: Synergized for Maximum Impact

Presented by Courtney Quarterman 
July 16, from 2:30-3:30 p.m. 
Many schools’ wish lists include well-prepared, confident CS teachers, plus access to quality CS curricula, resources, and professional development. We know that high school CS education is crucial to prepare students for a 21st-century workforce, but this dream remains inaccessible for all too many schools.  In this session, we will explore the triangulation of corporate, community, and classroom to ensure growth and development among CS teachers, heightened student interest in CS, and improvement in students’ college and career readiness. Attendees will leave with sample lessons and activities and will be invited join a new AVID CS professional learning community. We’ll also encourage educators to apply for the Microsoft Philanthropies Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) grant, which will be administered by AVID Center for the 2023-24 school year.
While we’ve selected a few sessions to highlight, we encourage you to check out the full agenda on the website. You can filter by grade band as well as CSTA teacher and student standards. Be sure to register for CSTA 2022 before July 10!