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This story was updated on December 12, 2019.

Computer Science across Kansas

In 2019, we celebrated Computer Science Education Week from December 9 through December 15. It was a fantastic opportunity to highlight all things computer science across the world.

At FlagshipKansas.Tech we had an opportunity to learn what educators and students were doing to celebrate #CSEdWeek across Kansas.

We’d like to share some of the highlights of the week in Kansas including our fun #HourofCode event with the Kansas State Board of Education in Topeka on December 11.

Eureka USD389 | Marshall Elementary School

Ms. Collinge’s class had fun partnering sixth-grade students with third-grade students for an Hour of Code during Computer Science Education Week. The sixth graders had completed “Grinch Game” – a code.org course that involved programming a drone to prevent the Grinch (yep, the green guy) from stealing all of the Christmas presents. Sixth graders guided the third graders as together they worked through the game and saved Christmas.

Topeka TPS501 | McCarter Elementary School

What did Ms. Harkness do this week? She incorporated coding across multiple classes at McCarter Elementary in Topeka, Kansas. We believe that learning to code = developing creativity. What better opportunity to become more creative than when you’re still young? Thank you, Ms. Harkness.

USD497 | West Middle School

Whew! Ms. Crenshaw and Mr. Aberle were busy this week. They worked hard all week to hold an event where they invited the Lawrence, Kansas, community to code with their classes. Dec 18 and 19 family and community members were in school throughout the day learning and engaging in the #HourofCode program at the school.

Students not only learned to code, but how to facilitate, encourage, and even coach community members through what was for many their first coding experiences. What a great way to connect the classroom with the community through coding!

Holy Trinity School

We heard from Ms. Henneberg made time for her classes at Holy Trinity in Lenexa, Kansas, to participate in this year’s #HourofCode. Thank you for letting us and know and making this week extra special!

USD 400 | Smoky Valley

Monday – We learned about computational thinking, heard from a Vision_Tek graduate about his job in coding working for Garmin in the aeronautics field, viewed their recent design of a self-landing plane, and executed a “hands-on” sort activity to understand computational thinking further.
Tuesday – We examined the role of women in coding, heard from a female Vision_Tek graduate who is working in coding, examined how block coding works with computational thinking, and practiced block coding in teams.
Wednesday – We completed the “Hour of Code,” chose a partner and analyzed two maze patterns in our building. Using Drone blocks, each student on the team constructed a program to execute the maze with a Tello Drone.
Friday – Student teams flew drones through their programmed mazes to determine their effectiveness.

We’d encourage you to check out the work going on throughout the year in Laurie Denk’s classes.

Here’s a note from Laurie: Hello from Lindsborg, Kansas! My name is Laurie Denk. I am a teacher at Smoky Valley High School for the Vision_Tek program.

This program is a technology initiative meant to bridge the gap between school and work. The program is driven by two levels: the first is a technology boot camp of sorts that enables students to develop technology skills; the second is a program built on project-based learning where students develop large learning-based projects in building (using microprocessors and Arduinos), coding/programming, software exploration, application development, film, and much more.

We are always exploring connections to make our curriculum development more relevant to our workforce.

Please check us out on our Vision_Tek YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/svhsinfotech/ or our Facebook page.

Kansas Board of Education | Hour of Code

On December 11 sixteen students and four amazing instructors blew away the Kansas State Board of Education with a hands-on #HourofCode during #CSEdWeek this year. Thank you Ms. Adams Oskaloosa Public Schools USD341, Ms. Jardine Wamego Public Schools USD320, Ms. Snyder and Ms. Clemons Wichita Public Schools USD259.

And students, thank you. You were the rockstars in the room.

Thank you to FlagshipKansas.Tech board members Amanda Duncan, VP and Chief Business Development Officer of the Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas and Joy Eakins, President of Cornerstone Data, Inc., Katie Hendrickson with code.org, and Katlyn Otto and Emily Meyer with Union Station Science City.

Check out our photo album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/w6PCftq9ctCLQRMw7

Beyond #CSEdWeek

Each Kansas school approaches computer science in their own unique way. Perhaps your school offers a course dedicated to teaching computer science. Or maybe a handful of teachers from PK-12 incorporate computational thinking, problem-solving, and pattern recognition into the various courses taught in your district. Whatever your approach, we’d appreciate the opportunity to learn more.

Now that we are officially finished celebrating CS Ed Week in 2019, what activities do you have planned for 2020 in your classrooms? And, how can we help?

Why are we asking? We’d love to recognize your work in our Kansas schools.