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Greater Boston Chapter Has Great First Meeting

Massachusetts now has a local CSTA chapter! The first meeting of the Greater Boston CSTA chapter took place on October 23. Kelly Powers and Padmaja Bandaru, the co-presidents of the chapter, along with the support of the two event sponsors, the Commonwealth Alliance for IT Education (CAITE) and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC), organized an effective, motivational first meeting.

Fred Martin and Holly Yanco of UMass Lowell were invaluable in organizing the day and leading parts of the event. Steve Vinter of Google was another big supporter and participant in the meeting. The response was excellent, with forty people attending the Saturday meeting.

The morning was spent with introductions and brainstorming topics for future chapter meetings. Chinma Uche, the president of the Connecticut CSTA chapter shared her experiences with us about starting a local chapter. Attendees ate lunch together, then broke into groups for afternoon workshops. Half of the group attended a CS Unplugged workshop led by Karl Wurst of Worcester State University. The other half participated in an un-conference where eight topics were generated on the fly and groups met on those topics for half-hour periods.

It was encouraging to see such enthusiasm on the local front. It seems that every teacher in the room had been craving this sort of collaboration and networking and now, the opportunity had finally arrived. Knowing that there are organizations, universities, and corporations in our area behind our efforts and willing to help in any way they can, is inspiring and reassuring.

The next meeting will take place on November 30 in Marlboro, MA. The meeting topic will be Computer Science Education Week, which takes place December 5-11. Any teachers interested in attending, in person or virtually, can email P.Bandaru@amsacs.org for more information.

Hopefully, Massachusetts can sustain the interest and enthusiasm of this first meeting to make the local chapter a constructive and productive organization for years to come.

Karen Lang
CSTA Board of Directors

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