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Wisconsin Leadership Cohort Update

Hello from Wisconsin, land of Harleys, cheese, breweries and great ethnic festivals!

As part of our work on the CSTA Leadership Cohort, Sarah Huibregtse and I have been busy with many advocacy activities.

On May 7 and 8 at the Wisconsin Mathematics Council Annual Meeting, we assembled a strand of nine sessions - sort of a mini CS/IT Symposium. The most popular were the GameMaker, Website Development, Visual BASIC and the FANG game engine programming using JavaWIDE (25-30 at each). We had a great discussion at the certification session, which included one of the two DPI leaders for the statewide committee. The Robotics workshop featured four “play” stations, each with a different kind of robot. The sessions on Boolean Logic and on ideas to broaden participation were also great.

About a dozen teachers attended a session that focused on forming a state-wide CSTA chapter. After much discussion, we decided to develop a website where we could post materials from sessions like those at this meeting plus other potentially useful materials. We also discussed asking our statewide teacher organization to put together a one- day strand (it's a 2-day conference) dealing with CS and IT. Our immediate goal, though, is to continue to build our teacher network throughout the state.

Sarah and I have also been involved in a number of activities where a small group of us have been meeting with mostly guidance counselors in various parts of the state, trying to generate enthusiasm for CS/IT courses in their schools.

We also organized our 5th and 6th iFairs(sm), career fairs which feature an exhibit area set up in a trade show atmosphere. Businesses and a few post-secondary institutions sell IT and Engineering careers to visiting middle and high school students by showing how exciting and invigorating they can be. Over these 6 fairs, we had about 2800 student visitors from Milwaukee Public Schools. We're already planning out 7th and 8th fairs during the next school year. The general website for iFairs(sm) is

http://ifair.pbwiki.com

As members of the CSTA Leadership Cohort, we have also been involved with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction in an attempt to establish a committee to deal with the original CS Endorsement certificate (from 1986) and to establish CS/IT standards for K-12. We continue to seek funding for this.

We also continue to involve groups of business leaders from Washington HS of IT, Milwaukee Public Schools Partnership, the Milwaukee Partnership Academy and PoweredUp in our attempts to expand the visibility of CS/IT in the schools throughout Wisconsin.

Finally through these groups and other contacts, we continue to involve a number of both two and four year post-secondary institutions in this quest.

Joe Kmoch
CSTA Leadership Cohort Member (WI)

Comments

Joe, I am an IT for the Grantsburg school district working on my teacher's licence through Project Teaching. Mine and the districts plan is to create a hybrid position with me teaching computer science for half the day and IT for the other half. That being said, can you direct me the academic standards that we will most likely follow when Wisconsin starts to require CS/IT for graduation.

Thanks,
Mike

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