Cutler-Bell Prize Applications

The Assoc. Comp. Mach. and CSTA are excited to announce the opening of the 2016 Cutler-Bell Prize for Excellence in High School Computing contest. Applications will be accepted May 1 – November 1.

This prize seeks to promote and encourage the field of computer science, as well as to empower young and aspiring learners to pursue computing challenges outside of the traditional classroom environment.

Up to four winners will be selected to be awarded a $10,000 prize. The prizes will be funded by a $1 million endowment established by David Cutler and Gordon Bell.

Eligible applicants for the award will include graduating high school seniors residing and attending school in the US. Challenges for the award will focus on developing an artifact that engages modern computing technology and computer science. Judges will look for submissions that demonstrate ingenuity, complexity, relevancy, originality, and a desire to further computer science as a discipline.

The application is NOW available and will close on November 1, 2016. Winners are expected to be announced in January of 2017.

Please share this exciting announcement with your fellow teachers and your students!

Questions regarding this email? Contact

Oracle Academy Grants

Oracle Academy’s ongoing commitment to serving underrepresented students has funded a scholarship to endow 14 MESA teachers to attend the 2016 CSTA Conference in July. MESA prepares educationally disadvantaged students to prepare for, pursue and graduate from four-year colleges and universities with a STEM degree. MESA currently serves 25,000 underserved students in California. In support of the White House’s Computer Science for All initiative Oracle Academy has donated scholarships to support MESA teachers committed to increasing computer science literacy in underserved student populations.

The teacher awardees will be chosen from MESA schools throughout California and participated in JAVA training we offer in the summer. Our commitment to MESA provides teachers with the skills to teach computer science and support underrepresented students compete in MESA ALICE and Greenfoot competitions.

MESA teacher applications are still being accepted, please contact Juanita Muñiz-Torres at for questions.

Robot Programming Competition

High school students are invited to participate in a regional computing competition!

RobotProgrammingCompetition Attached you will find a flyer containing event details for this upcoming free Robot Programming Competition.  To gain an understanding of what software the students will be utilizing to program the robot to move, you can watch video tutorials via the following link:

This a team competition, and each team is comprised of two individuals. They will have to apply to participate in this event as a team. There will be a pizza lunch for everyone as well as prizes for the top placing teams. These students are responsible for getting to and from the competition. There is paid parking as well as accessible public transportation.

Get the word out to your students immediately so they don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity!

Finally, we would like to thank our partners who have greatly helped bring this event concept to fruition: Gail Lake, Program Specialist at SDUSD CTE, CoriAnne Burgess and Scottie Lee, Computer Science Principles Teachers, Rose LaMuraglia, Deputy Sector Navigator for ICT and Dean at San Diego City College, and SB1070 CTE Regional Pathways.

Best regards,

Flora Barron | Education Manager Central San Diego
Junior Achievement of San Diego County
4756 Mission Gorge Place | San Diego, CA 92120
Direct 619.906.4910 | Office 619.682.5155 ext. 110 | F 619.682.5159 |

Cyber Security Opportunity/Grant

Professor Chris Simpson of National University is looking for a teacher group to be involved with a possible NSF grant in Cyber Security.

“We are looking for 25 teachers with some technical skills to be a core group to provide inputs to help develop the material (I.e. How they teach, what types of tools they need etc) and then teach it. We plan on holding four two day institutes a year to collect information and teach the teachers. We’ll also have some longer training sessions in years 2 and 3. Ongoing collaboration throughout the year would be required. We are budgeting stipends to support teacher participation. Teachers would be trained and given access to the material. We plan on making the material easily available even for those that aren’t in the program.”

(1) Identifying teacher participants and schools, especially those in underserved communities.
(2) If there is interest, it would be great to have someone from a district with a leadership role in the grant (CO-PI, Senior advisor, etc.)

Besides being a professor at National University, Chris runs his own Cyber Security company and has worked with us regularly here at the San Diego CSTA. If you would like more information, please contact Chris.

Chris Simpson
Tel: 619.865.7294

San Diego CSTA Quarterly Meeting

We will be having our quarterly meeting at the UCSD Supercomputer Center’s Synthesis Room [upstairs from the auditorium where we usually meet]. The date and time will be Thursday, February 4, 4:00pm ~ 5:00pm or so. The agenda will concentrate on the July CSTA national conference that will be here in San Diego [Mission Valley Town & Country Resort and Convention Center]. Joining us will be the SDCOE as we work to coordinate not just CSTA conference concerns, but also the many CS related projects going on that don’t always get publicity throughout the county: the CSTA standards, resources, San Diego Mayor’s Cyber Cup Challenge, StudentTECH, MAP, San Diego CSTA Skunk Works projects, etc…

We hope you can join us. For more information, contact

Congressional App Challenge

Due to popular demand, high school students who would like to participate in the 2015 Congressional App Challenge now have until Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 3PM EST to do so.
The Congressional App Challenge (CAC) is proud to be partnering with CSTA on this congressional effort aimed at engaging students, and their Members of Congress, in coding and computer science. Students in participating districts can submit apps that they’ve created (for this program or any another), as long as the apps were created within the last year. Already, there are more than 950 students from 175 Congressional districts in 42 states, signed up to compete.
Students of all coding levels are encouraged to participate, and those who submit their apps to the CAC will only be competing against peers in their own districts. Students can participate as individuals, or in teams of up to four. Panels of local judges will judge the apps from January 22 through February 12, and Members of Congress will announce their district winners on February 22. Winners will be honored by their Member of Congress and have their apps featured on a display in the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
Capital One is generously serving as the principal sponsor of the 2015 Congressional App Challenge as part of its $150 million Future Edge effort to help more Americans get the skills they need to succeed in the future. For more information, please visit

2016 CSTA Conference Registration Open

The CSTA annual conference is scheduled for here in San Diego, July 10-12 in Mission Valley. Registration and a draft of the 3 hour workshops, 1 hour sessions and other offerings are available here now. Fee schedules are listed as well as hotel accommodations for the 3 day event.


$10,000 2015-16 ACM/CSTA Cutler Bell prize

There is still time to encourage your students to apply for the 2015-16 ACM/CSTA Cutler Bell prize!  This $10,000 award will go to four graduating high school seniors who show exceptional creativity and innovation in creating computing artifacts.

Eligible applicants for the award must be graduating high school seniors residing and attending school in the US. Challenges for the award will focus on developing an artifact that engages modern computing technology and computer science. Judges will look for submissions that demonstrate ingenuity, complexity, relevance, originality, and a desire to further computer science as a discipline.

The application is available now but will close on January 1, 2016. The inaugural awards will be announced in February of 2016 and the winners will be celebrated at a banquet in March in Seattle, Washington.

Please share this exciting announcement with your fellow teachers and your students, and Good Luck!

Questions regarding this email? Contact

Mini Supercomputer Raspberry Pi inservice

sdswOne of the San Diego CSTA Skunk Works projects we’ve begun developing are site teams interested in helping students build a mini supercomputer cluster out of Raspberry Pi 2s along with available materials collecting dust in those storage rooms at your site [the other project is the San Diego Mayor’s Cyber Cup Challenge]. On Saturday, December 5, we’re on for a hands-on meeting [staff only — no students for this event] at the UCSD San Diego Supercomputer Center from 9:00am to 1:00pm with Rick Wagner. Rick is the High Performance Computing Systems Manager at the UCSD Supercomputer Center… some of you may have attended the initial meeting we held at Sweetwater HS a few weeks back with Rick. So if you’d like to learn about the Raspberry Pi, Linux and creating a cluster or network, please let me know ASAP as I need a head count and to get you more information. StudentTECHIf you’re a novice at all this, even better—as long as you’re interested for yourself and students at your site. We’ll go through all the hardware and software, how to put it all together, and how/where we’ll set up a forum for help and to share ideas. We’ll also be developing a curriculum in conjunction with some UCSD CS students. While we would certainly hope you do, you are not under any obligation to create a program at your site just by virtue of having attended this UCSD in-service. Invite a colleague.

For more information or to register, please contact




The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) invites you to participate in the 16th Annual CSTA Conference. This event will be held July 10-12, 2016, in San Diego, California.

The CSTA 2016 Program Committee seeks proposal submissions related to the practice of teaching and learning computer science and information technology in K-12. This year, the conference is seeking 3-hour workshops, 1-hour sessions, 20-minute mini-sessions and 1-hour Birds of a Feather.  Proposals for all session types must include:

  • the names and contact information for all presenters
  • an overview of the session
  • a description of the intended audience (level, knowledge, …)
  • a description of session activity (in sufficient detail for an informed decision)
  • presenter background and presentation experience

Proposal must also include an expanded description (to be submitted as a PDF attachment) that provides the following information:

  • background for the topic to be presented
  • description of the information to be covered
  • description of why this information is relevant/useful to K-12 computer science and information technology teachers
  • description of what the attendees will learn from this presentation, and
  • description of any handouts

Presenters will have the use of a computer projector and screen. If additional equipment or facilities are required, this should be clearly requested in the proposal; it may be possible to accommodate such requests but this cannot be guaranteed. Presenters will be required to pay for their conference registration.

All proposals will be submitted through the online conference submission system that can be found at you encounter a problem with the submission system, please contact Tammy Pirmann at

The deadline for proposals is midnight (Hawaiian time) on October 1, 2015. Review of proposals will occur shortly thereafter and notification of a decision will be made around November 2, 2015.  All submission will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • technical quality
  • writing and presentation
  • relevance to CSTA (focus on K-12 computer science)
  • uniqueness
  • general conference theme and needs

Successful proposers should expect to be asked to submit a draft copy of their presentation by May 10, 2016. Draft presentations will be posted on the website for attendee reference and note-taking. All final presentations will be gathered by room proctors at the end of each session. Some sessions may be selected for videotaping, which will be shared online post conference. All workshops and sessions will be photographed.

Why present at CSTA 2016? The CSTA annual conference is the only CS conference specifically dedicated to meeting the needs of K-12 computer science educators. Come network with your peers, present your great ideas, and learn best practices. Here is what some 2015 conference attendees had to say about the conference:

  • “Best session and workshops I’ve ever attended at CSTA conference!”
  • “This was my first year as a CS teacher, and I’ve heard a number of good ideas that I’m excited to research further and implement in my classroom”
  • “CSTA has very welcoming presenters, participants and volunteers”
  • “Excellent conference! Very informative and exciting!”
  • “Networking opportunities and new friendships are invaluable!
  • ‘Best conference value for my PD dollars that I have found to date!”

Additional conference details can be found at

The deadline for proposals is midnight (Hawaiian time) on October 1, 2015.

We look forward to receiving your proposals and to your attendance at the conference.

The 2016 Annual Conference Planning Committee: