Date: December 4, 2018

December 3-9th is national Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek). This week is dedicated to celebrating the transformative role of computing and promoting the need to bolster computer science at all educational levels. The Roaring Fork Schools have already integrated computer science classes and learning at all levels.

“We offer AP computer science in each of our traditional high schools, and we have integrated computer science into STEM classes at every elementary and middle school,” said Ben Bohmfalk, the district's Technology Integration Facilitator. In comparison, only 35% of high schools in the nation offer a computer science class.

Schools are encouraged to “try an hour of code” as part of CSEdWeek. Students in the Roaring Fork Schools will be coding this week and throughout the year.

“Our students are already getting much more than an hour of code,” said Bohmfalk. “But the national focus provides a great opportunity to expand awareness of the importance of computer science and to promote the great opportunities for students.”

The district’s middle and elementary students are also learning computer science principles. For instance, Carbondale Middle School 5th graders are working on computer science (CS) fundamentals with Jason Kreiling, the school’s technology teacher. Kreiling’s 6-8th grade students will be presenting this Thursday on apps that solve problems and eventually learning the coding to create such apps.

At the elementary school level, students are engaged in age-appropriate coding activities as well. Basalt Elementary STEM teacher, Dave Plathe, said his 2-4th graders have been doing Grinch-themed coding recently.

Teachers in the Roaring Fork Schools have been learning about integrating computer science in the classroom through district-provided and external professional development opportunities. The district’s middle school stem teachers are currently developing a unit using programmable robots, which were purchased using a computer science grant from CDE. The team is meeting this week during the district-wide collaboration time to finalize those units to be published on the Colorado Department of Education’s (CDE) computer science resource bank. Other staff attended a week-long training in Denver last summer called CS Discoveries.


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