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CSTA 2024 features over 200 sessions, and you don’t want to miss it! Navigating that much content can be overwhelming, so the Conference Committee has highlighted these highest-scored equity sessions.

Craft Computing

Presented by Lionel Bergeron

July 16, 2024, from 9 a.m. to noon PT

*This session is a pre-conference workshop and can be added to your registration for an additional charge

This workshop presents a craft computing unit that uses arts and crafts materials to introduce elementary and middle school students to the basics of physical computing and computing design. A series of unplugged activities allow students to build a physical computing model (like a prototype, game controller, or sensor) to express an idea or solve a problem they care about. Along the way, they develop a better understanding of what computers can do and how we interact with them, now and in the future. Participants in the session will engage in hands-on activities from the unit, such as prototyping a unique sensor to collect data or creating their own processing unit and circuit board. We’ll share the activities, lesson progression, and supporting resources needed to bring this unit to attendees’ own elementary or middle school classrooms.

Barbershop Computing: A Exploration into CS and Engineering through Barbering

Presented by Michael Lachney, Dominick Sanders, and Madison Allen Kuyenga

July 17, 2024, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. PT

An investigation into computer science and engineering by way of barbering is presented in the book “Barbershop Computing.” In this participatory session, we will introduce Barbershop Computing, a design tool called Barbershop Computing that takes advantage of the historical and cultural relevance of barbering and barbershops in order to increase the number of black boys who study computer science. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with application and physical computing models, as well as study lesson materials that will enable implementation.

Identity-Inclusive AI: Uncovering Bias, Fostering Diversity, and Advancing Equity

Presented by Terry Foster and Sababu Barashango

July 18, 2024, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. PT

This session engages teachers in identity-inclusive AI activities that explore the impact of AI tools and discuss practical strategies to identify and mitigate bias in AI applications. Through interactive discussions and hands-on activities, participants will gain a deeper understanding of the complex landscape of bias in AI, including its impact on marginalized communities and the importance of diverse representation in technology development. We will guide participants to recognize and address bias in AI data, algorithms, and decision-making processes, emphasizing a proactive and responsible approach to using AI.

Key topics in this session include identity-inclusive activities that highlight real-world examples of AI bias; ethical and societal implications of AI bias; strategies for auditing bias in AI models; and advocacy for the creation of fair, equitable AI systems. Participants will leave this session with a heightened awareness of the ethical considerations surrounding AI, increased knowledge to identify and address AI bias, and a commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion in AI. Identity-inclusive AI is a crucial step toward building a more just and equitable technological future.

Navigating DEI Challenges in the K–12 Setting

Presented by Leigh Ann DeLyser, Stephanie Weber, Joe Meléndez, June Teisan

July 18, 2024, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. PT

Leaders from prominent computer science nonprofit organizations, including CSforALL, the National Girls Collaborative Project, and the National Center for Women and Information Technology, will join one of CSTA’s recent Equity Fellows to talk through diversity, equity, and inclusion in the K–12 space. We’ll share recent DEI challenges and discuss research-based best practices to build community and get buy-in for broadening participation in computing. We’ll talk through our own core values when teaching CS, explore ways to identify unconscious bias, and share ideas to find allies and advocates to support the work of building an inclusive environment.

Cultivating Student Agency: Best Practices for Teaching Socially Responsible Computing

Presented by Wei Wei, Lily Kohn, Ashley Goetz, Jean Ryoo, Michelle Choi, and Jackie Blizzard-Caron

July 16, 2024, from 1-4 p.m. PT

This workshop focuses on giving teachers the practical tools to build student agency and support critical conversations about equity, social responsibility, and ethics in computer science. We’ll share the results of a research partnership between university researchers and a national nonprofit working to close the gender gap in technology. During this project, we encouraged middle and high school students to explore socially responsible computing practices through hands-on activities and a justice-centered graphic novel.

Building on the lessons learned through our project, this session will discuss the conversations, activities, and pedagogical practices that supported the agentive roles and actions we saw from students during our project. Participants will be invited to participant in small-group and whole-group discussions about what could work well or what could be challenging in different contexts. Educators will leave with new activities and resources they can immediately apply to their own teaching contexts, including a free copy of the graphic novel, hard copies of a graphic novel educator resource created by CSTA Equity Fellows, and additional curricular resources from the national nonprofit organization. Our goal is to inspire educators to approach their work through a lens of social responsibility, and educators teaching at all grade levels are welcome!

Bringing Black Girl Magic in CS

Presented by Carla Neely

July 19, 2024, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. PT

Black Girl Magic is a term used to illustrate the universal awesomeness of Black women. It’s about celebrating anything they deem particularly dope, inspiring, or mind-blowing about themselves. 

Attendees will learn how to support Black girls in their quest to learning and enjoying computer science. Help Black girls find their own magic in computer science through allowing them to use their own voices and advocacy, creativity, individuality, and choice in computer science. Learning should always be magical.

Register for CSTA 2024

Be sure to head to the full conference program to read more about these recommendations and plan which sessions you want to attend. If you haven’t registered for the annual conference yet, head to the CSTA 2024 website to secure your spot. We are excited to see you there!