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CSEDWeek Highlights at ASMSA

Like schools across the country, we are celebrating Computer Science Education week here at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts (ASMSA) in several ways and we are making sure to involve the educational stakeholders who have given us so much support, including our administration, faculty, and staff.

At the November school assembly, we showed the Code.org video What Most School's Don't Teach as a teaser for our planned Hour of Code Event. After the video, the students were told to watch for emails with more information about the Hour of Code.

At a December 2 School Board meeting, we informed our Board that Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe had issued a Proclamation declaring December 9-15, 2013 as Computer Science Education Week. We also shared our plans to participate in one of the Hour of Code activities.

We were ready for CSEdWeek to actually arrive!

On December 9, we emailed information about Grace Hopper to all of our students and faculty. We explained about her "nanosecond", the 11.8 inch pieces of wire she carried to help illustrate how far light could travel in a nanosecond. This helped prepare our students for lunch that day. Our Food Service Director from AmeriServ had prepared a menu that included food that could be measured with a nanosecond. There were Nanosecond Hot Dogs, Nanosecond Sub Sandwiches, and Nanosecond Spaghetti. They also served a birthday cake in honor of Grace Hopper's Birthday. The nanosecond lunch was a huge hit with our students!

On December 10, we held our Hour of Code Event. Four computer labs were used to ensure we had enough available computers. We scheduled our event for 1.5 hours, building in some snack time as programming can work up an appetite. We had about 60 students participate and the state and local paper was on hand to take some pictures and interview some of the students.

Many of the computer science students wrapped up Computer Science Education Week by taking exams in their respective Computer Science courses. I am sure that these test-taking activities were not as fun as Hour of Code, or celebrating Grace Hopper's Birthday, but they managed.

Carl Frank
President, Arkansas CSTA Chapter

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