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NJ CSTA Chapters Join Forces!

CSTA-Central NJ and CSTA-Northern NJ are working together with their advocacy efforts. A few members from each chapter focus on state-wide advocacy. The mission of this small advocacy group (CSNJ) is to establish K-12 Computer Science as an essential academic discipline in NJ. CSNJ believes that all students should take Computer Science classes to help develop logical thinking, problem solving and computational thinking skills necessary for the jobs of tomorrow.

The state of NJ requires students to complete three years of math and three years of science to graduate. CSNJ is proposing an additional STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) graduation requirement. They call this proposal 3+3+STEM. The STEM requirement can be satisfied by a Math, Science, Computer Science, or Engineering class. CSNJ has their first meeting with members of NJ Department of Education scheduled for next week.

In addition to the efforts of CSNJ, both NJ CSTA chapters have been awarded CSTA grants promote CS Education statewide. With funding provided under a mini-grant program sponsored by the ACM SIG Governing Board, they will co-sponsor an informational booth at the New Jersey Educational Association (NJEA) convention in November to advocate for Computer Science education in New Jersey and are submitting a proposal for a professional development (PD) workshop on CS education to the NJEA. If the workshop proposal is accepted, members of the chapters will present a PD workshop on the state of Computer Science in New Jersey and the impact of CS on student achievement and future career prospects.

The two chapters will also co-sponsor an informational booth and a half hour presentation on Computer Science education in New Jersey at the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) conference during October 2014. The workshop will focus on the state of Computer Science in New Jersey and the impact of CS on student achievement and future career prospects.

Funds from the grants will also be used in support of CS advocacy activities such as meetings with legislators, business leaders, educators, parents, administrators, members of local school boards, other education professionals, the commissioner of education, the State board of education and any other stakeholders who can influence the direction of CS education in New Jersey. Both chapters will work together to develop the materials for the booths and the workshops/presentations. Both CSTA NJ chapters will be represented at these state conferences to show cohesiveness and statewide initiative.

NJ CSTA chapters have worked very hard to advocate for CS Education in our state.

For more information on CSTA in NJ, visit: http://www.cstanj.org/home

If you haven't started advocacy work in your state, now is the time!!!

Fran Trees, CSTA Chapter Liaison
Proud member of CSNJ!

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