By: Dr. Alexandra Holter

Attending the CSTA (Computer Science Teachers Association) Annual Conference in July is more than just a professional development opportunity; it’s a chance to be part of a movement that values and pushes for better computer science education nationwide. This is especially true for high school teachers, who are constantly looking to enhance their CS skills and stay updated with the latest developments, the CSTA Annual Conference is an indispensable opportunity. 

Not signed up yet? Here are some things to consider if you are still debating whether the conference is for you (it is, in case you are wondering).

1. Empowered by Teachers, for Teachers

CSTA is uniquely driven by K-12 computer science educators, who craft content that addresses the intricacies of teaching at the high/middle school levels. The practical, teacher-led sessions at the conference provide actionable insights that can transform both your instruction and pedagogy, making them immediately applicable in your classroom. Sessions such as Unplugging AP Computer Science A, which revitalizes teacher methods through collaborative, unplugged, interactive lesson plans, and Escape Rooms for CS Classrooms, offer a new, more engaging summative assessment for computer science students in middle and high school.

2. Cutting-edge Professional Development

As the largest teacher-led computer science professional development event globally, the CSTA Annual Conference offers unparalleled opportunities to learn about new tools, equitable & inclusive instructional practices, and problem-solve with like-minded educators. Whether you’re looking to deepen your knowledge or explore new educational territories, the conference serves as a crucial platform to keep your curriculum dynamic and your classroom a vibrant learning environment.

3. Fostering a Supportive Community

Teaching specialized subjects like computer science can often feel isolating. The CSTA Annual Conference counters this by building robust local and national communities, providing you with a network of peers who share your passion and face similar challenges. This environment fosters meaningful collaborations, enhancing both personal and professional growth.

4. Championing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

CSTA’s strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion ensures that these essential principles are integrated throughout the conference. This focus not only addresses the disparities in computer science education but also helps to create more inclusive learning environments that benefit all students. Additionally, the conference emphasizes advocacy, empowering you to advocate for necessary educational policy changes that ensure every student can access high-quality computer science education.


Attending the CSTA Annual Conference goes beyond professional development; it’s about actively participating in a movement that champions superior computer science education across the nation. As we strive for a future where every student thrives in the digital age, joining forces at the CSTA Annual Conference allows us to learn, network, and advocate together.

“We all do better when we all do better” – echoing the words from one of my favorite Minnesotans, Paul Wellstone, I invite you to converge this July to not only better ourselves but to collectively elevate the state of computer science education. See you at the CSTA conference!

About the Author

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Alexandra Holter is a Computer Science Coordinator, K-12, for Bloomington Public Schools in Bloomington Minnesota. She has been an educator for the past 14 years. Her career started in Tulsa Oklahoma where she obtained her BA and Masters of Science in Mathematics and Science Education. Then she first taught her first class of 7th grade science and has been committed to eliminating young people’s barriers to STEM ever since. In 2015 she completed her Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Oklahoma State University. In her current role she supports K-12 teachers and schools with building their individual and site level CS capacity so that CS really can be for all. She is a current member of the CSTA Policy Committee, CSTA Editorial Board, and SciMathMN Board Member.