May 2024 Member Newsletter
Our next CSTA-MN member meeting is scheduled for next week, on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, from 3:30 - 4:00 PM Central Time (register). All are welcome to attend!
We'll have just one meeting this month, instead of the two offerings we've had in the past.
Join us to share what you have been teaching, learn about new resources including books and professional development, and get to know other CS teachers in our state!


Seeking new rural and tribal school partners

K12 CS Pathways for Rural and Tribal Communities Project -- This NSF project aims to build district and educator capacity in computer science (CS) education. The project aims to increase access to and participation in CS education in rural and tribal communities and create sustainable ways for CS education implementation. Interested? Learn more by checking out this video overview or 1-page summary. Complete the interest form if you want to be contacted about this opportunity:


Book Corner

Be sure to attend our CSTA-MN member meeting on May 28 to learn more about these books about AI and CS:
  • A Kids Book About AI by Neha Shukla (November 2023); check out this episode from A Kids Book About - The Podcast with Neha Shukla
  • AI Smart Kids: Teaching Kids of Every Age About Artificial Intelligence by Alena LaPointe & Andy LaPointe (2023)
  • Think Like a Computer by Terysa Ridgeway, illustrated by Maria Gabriela Gama (June 2023); check out Extend the Lesson (free activities)
  • Computer Science for Curious Kids by Chris Oxlade (2023); Curious Kids Series

Curriculum Highlights

Northern Lights Collaborative for Computing Education Resources:
Three Sisters Curriculum
  • 4-Day Unit
  • Aligned to 5th and 6th grade Minnesota State Standards
  • Guides students to make predictions and understand reciprocal relationships between corn, beans, and squash, known as Three Sisters plantings while investigating and modifying Scratch programs about each of the plants. 
  • Learn More:
Iskigamizigan: Sugar Bush Curriculum
  • 6-10 Day Unit
  • Designed for grades 5-7
  • This unit explores the traditional practice of Iskigamizigan (Sugar Bush) and the use of micro:bits for data collection and analysis in maple sap production. Students will learn about the cultural and historical significance of maple syrup production in Native American communities, as well as the importance of good stewardship and gratitude towards the earth. 
  • Learn More:


Empower{MN:CS} Conference 2024

  • Date: August 13th -15th, 2024
  • Location: University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus
  • Cost: $50/educator with Travel Scholarships available
  • Learn More and sign up: 
    Minnesota's second annual computer science professional development week will be happening August 13-15, 2024 in Minneapolis! This year we are offering a variety of workshops for educators of all experience levels in computer science.  
    -K8 Integrated Computer Science
    -Project GUTS
    -Scratch Encore
    -Raspberry Pi Foundation - Big Book of Computing Pedagogy
    -NCWIT Counselors for Computing (C4C)


Save the Date: CSTA-MN Summer Social

  • What: Meet up in person this summer to connect with our Minnesota CS colleagues!
  • Date: August 14th, 2024
  • Location: University of Minnesota Twin Cities
  • Interest Form:

CSAwesome Immersion PD (Infosys Pathfinders)

  • Dates: July 22nd to July 26th, 2024
  • Location: Virtual
  • Cost: This experience is free for U.S. K-12 public school teachers
  • Learn More:
  • Infosys Foundation US will host the Pathfinders Online Institute 2024 virtually with 20 PD courses occurring throughout the summer. This PD is designed for educators who have experience with Java but are new to teaching AP CS A. Participants will complete 40 hours of the CSAwesome PD over the course of 5 days plus attend a teacher orientation on May 31st. New to Java Teachers will be invited to participate in 20 hours of pre-work before the immersion week event. A Certificate of Participation is given to all teachers who complete the professional development, indicating the number of PD hours.

CSAwesome Short PD

  • Date: July 30th, 2024
  • Time: 11 AM to 5:30 PM CT
  • Cost: $275
  • Learn More:
  • This 6-hour professional development course is recommended for teachers who have some familiarity with Java and AP CS A. The PD will consist of an introduction to using the CSAwesome ebook on Runestone Academy including how to access the lesson plans/teaching materials and training on using inclusive CS teaching strategies. Ongoing academic year support from an experienced AP CS A & CSAwesome teacher in the 2024-2025 school year is also included. Note: All participants will receive a Certificate of Participation after completing the course. This session will not be recorded. Details will also be shared on how participants can sign up for other learning opportunities offered by the Northern Lights Collaborative


Mobile CSP: Virtual

  • Dates: July 22nd - August 2nd, 2024
  • Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday of each week. 
  • Synchronous Meeting Times - 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM CDT
  • Cost: $1,550
  • Learn More:
  • This 2-week (20 hours/week) virtual professional development course is recommended for teachers who have significant experience in computer science (CS) and are preparing to teach the Mobile CSP curriculum for the first time. The PD will provide an introduction to Computer Science Principles, covering AP course content, pedagogical best practices, and course logistics. Participants will have opportunities for hands-on experience with Mobile CSP units, activities, and assessments. It's important to note that the hours mentioned are for synchronous meetings, and the total hours listed include both the daily 2-hour synchronous sessions and individual asynchronous work. Details will also be shared on how participants can sign up for other learning opportunities offered by the Northern Lights Collaborative. Professional Learning Opportunities

  • Experience’s curriculum as your student would during their interactive workshops, preparing you to teach with a deep, practical understanding. Summer workshops are available for Minnesota educators from June 24th to the 28th at Target North Campus. 
  • CS Discoveries 
  • CS Principles
  • CS A
  • Learn More:

Applications Open: Code Savvy Educator Cohort

  • Transform your teaching and empower your students in computer science with the Code Savvy Educator Cohort! This opportunity is designed for Minnesota educators to support them in developing technical and pedagogical skills to teach computer science confidently. Our 2024-2025 cohort begins on August 5th! No CS experience is required. 
  • Learn more about this opportunity and apply here!

Book Club


CSforALL Commitments


CSTA Annual Conference

  • July 16th - 19th, 2024
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • As a computer science teacher, you are often the only one in your building or maybe even in your district. There is a whole community of computer science educators like you. Connect with the world’s largest CS department at the CSTA 2024 Annual Conference, set for July 16–19, 2024, in Las Vegas! Learn more about the conference and plan your trip by visiting their website here.
  • Look for information soon about a Minnesota meetup.


Scratch Conference 2024: Create Your Own Adventure

  • July 24, 20224 (virtual)
  • The Scratch Conference is an international gathering of educators, researchers, and developers sharing ideas and strategies for supporting creative learning and creative coding. Join us on July 24 for hands-on workshops exploring new Scratch and ScratchJr activities, interactive panel discussions, and demonstrations of innovative Scratch extensions and integrated technologies.
  • Learn more about the conference here
  • Register here.

Job Opportunities

For more opportunities, check out the CSTA job board: