Posted by Dan Blier on Mar 02, 2021
The Advocate - A thread of CSTA's the voice
On Saturday, February 13, 2021, Texas CSTA chapters hosted two statewide events. The student-focused event was Digital Divas 2021. The teacher-focused event was Texas CSTA Chapters Virtual Conference 2021.

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On Saturday, February 13, 2021, Texas CSTA chapters hosted two statewide events. The student-focused event was Digital Divas 2021. The teacher-focused event was Texas CSTA Chapters Virtual Conference 2021.

CSTA Texas logo

Texas CSTA Chapters Virtual Conference 2021 

Texas CSTA Chapters Virtual Conference 2021 was a great success. Leaders from CSTA Central Texas, CSTA Dallas-Fort Worth, CSTA Greater Houston, and CSTA Paso Del Norte worked together to plan and execute this event. This event included over 100 participants including presenters. Participants who completed their post-event survey received a $10 Amazon gift card and a mask with the conference logo.  
Each chapter recognized a computer science educator during chapter meetings. Congratulations to all four educators who were awarded these honors.
  • 2021 CSTA Central Texas CS Educator of the Year Galen Goodreau
  • 2021 CSTA Dallas-Fort Worth CS Educator of the Year Tracy Ishman
  • 2021 CSTA Central Texas CS Educator of the Year Michael Thom
  • 2021 CSTA Paso Del Norte CS Educator of the Year Catherine Tabor
Allen Antoine, M.Ed., the Associate Director of Mathematics and Computer Science of the Rice Office of STEM Engagement (R-STEM) served as this year’s conference keynote speaker.  The audience was excited to hear his thoughts on equity in computer science.  He did not disappoint.
Additionally, 33 workshop presentations were offered to participants during five session times.  With a combination of hands-on, workshop-style, and panel discussions, attendees were able to select from many choices.  
2021 Digital poster - presented by CSTA Dallas Fort Worth

Digital Divas 2021

The Digital Divas 2021 is a computer programming competition that also took place on Saturday, February 13, 2021. This is an annual all-girls programming contest and workshop for grades six to twelve presented by the Computer Science Teachers Association Dallas-Fort Worth.  This year in partnership with our sister chapters, the event was expanded to a virtual Texas event. Over 300 students and teachers from 47 middle and high schools from across Texas were represented at this virtual event.  
A Plus CS partner Stacey Armstrong’s team wrote the contest packets for us. The contest had three divisions.  You can check out the practice problems by visiting our Digital Divas 2021 competition practice page at
  • Never-Competed-Before Division: For girls with little-to-no programming experience
  • Novice Division: For girls with general experience in computer science
  • Advanced Division: For girls with greater programming experience
Each CSTA chapter region was able to present up to its top three places for each division. A Texas first-place team was awarded for each division as well. The top advanced team from DFW was also awarded a paid internship with Kalkomey Enterprise.  
Additionally, we had two non-competitive divisions. These attendees had 18 different workshops to choose from throughout the day.  
  • Non-competitive Division: For those who wish to attend workshop sessions to learn about coding
  • Middle School Division: A special non-competitive workshop for middle school students
Kayla McEwon served as the keynote speaker at the event. She was a 2013 graduate of Plano East Senior High School in Plano, TX. Kayla was a member of the computer science club and competed in several programming competitions while at Plano East. After graduation, she studied computer science at The University of Texas at Dallas and landed an internship at Kalkomey Enterprises. She graduated from UT-Dallas with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science and is now a senior software developer at Kalkomey.  Her keynote presentation talked to girls about being the only female in the room and how to persist anyway.  Participants were truly engaged by her talk and asked lots of great questions.
During our closing session, we were able to give away prizes to student participants, such as $1,200 worth of Amazon gift cards and an HP ENVY Laptop – 15-ep0098nr donated by HP.  Additionally, all participants, coaches, and speakers will receive an event t-shirt, sticker, and some other targeted items.  Students will receive an event notepad, pen, and rubber duck keychain.  Speakers and coaches will receive a large event brand rubber duck.  
All sessions were hosted on the Hopin system and recorded.  These recordings will be available on our Texas CSTA chapters websites sometime in late March.  
These events could not have been possible without the assistance of Jason Bohrer, CSTA Chapter Relations Manager. Jason helped set up Hopin and support our technology needs within the system throughout both events. We would like to thank our many sponsors of Digital Divas 2021 and Texas CSTA Chapters Virtual Conference 2021. These sponsorships allowed us to develop a completely free event for our students and a very inexpensive conference for our teachers.  
Dan Blier Headshot
Dan Blier
CSTA Board Chair-Elect and DFW CSTA President