archive of 2012


Tuesday July 31,
Wednesday August 1,
& Thursday August 2, 2012

A Workshop and Conference on Computer Science
for Middle and High School Teachers
to be held on the UMass Lowell Campus


What is CS4HS?               What is CSTA?

CS4HS (Computer Science for High School) is “an initiative sponsored by Google to promote Computer Science and Computational Thinking in high school and middle school curriculum.” The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) is “the Voice for K-12 computer science education and its educators.”

UMass Lowell and the CSTA Greater Boston Chapter are delighted to receive support from Google, the Computer Science Teachers Association, Lenovo, and the Commonwealth Alliance for IT Education (CAITE) in offering a 3 day hands-on workshop and conference to regional middle- and high-school computer science, mathematics, and technology teachers.

Our goals are to provide teachers with (1) ideas they can immediately bring into their teaching; (2) a forum to share approaches with each other; and (3) ideas and support for advocacy and equity in computer science teaching and learning.

The 2012 workshop is over!
Thanks everyone. It was a great success and please check back here for next year.
Also, see instructors' notes linked below.

There is a $50 registration fee for the whole workshop. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be provided all three days.

After you fill out the online form above, please print out this form and send it in along with your registration fee. Thank you.

If you are outside of daily driving range, we can provide an overnight hotel stay (two nights) for a small number of participants. Please contact us at to request travel support (or if you have any other questions).

Conference Overview

The conference will consist of hands-on workshops, research talks, panels, and discussion sessions:

Hands-on Workshops

MIT App Inventor
Kelly Powers, Mark Sherman, and Fred Martin
App Inventor is a blocks-based programming system for developing fully-functioning applications (apps) for Android cell phones and tablets. Now at MIT, App Inventor is freely available to everyone. This workshop will include hands-on programming and discussion of sample student assignments and projects.

Teaching CS with the Finch Robot
Tom Lauwers
The Finch Robot is a low-cost classroom robot especially designed for use with novices to learn computer science. We are especially proud to have the inventor of the Finch, Tom Lauwers, come to our event to lead a workshop on how to use it!

Mapping Your Curriculum/Lesson Plan(s) to CS Standards
Kelly Powers and Padmaja Bandaru
We will introduce how you can map your course/lessons to CS standards, and create assessments that measure how well your students are meeting the learning objective. This is a working session. Bring your Curriculum, Topic Outline, Lesson Plan, and/or Syllabus.

Panel Discussions

Equity in Computing
Jeffrey Forbes (NSF) and Holly Yanco (UMass Lowell)
Jeff Forbes and Holly Yanco will lead a discussion on strategies for engaging under-represented students in computer science.

Computer Science Education Advocacy
Cameron Wilson (Director of Public Policy, ACM), Chris Stephenson (Executive Director, Computer Science Teachers Association), and Steve Vinter (Engineering Manager, Google Boston)
Cameron Wilson, Chris Stephenson, and Steve Vinter will lead a session on strategies for advocacy and community building, with the goal of institutionalizing computer science education.

Careers in Computing
Karen Lang (Mass Academy of Math and Science)
Karen Lang will moderate a conversation with UMass Lowell alumni with industry positions in the computer science field.

ACM K-12 CS Standards: The Five Strands of Computing and Your CS Course
Kelly Powers and Padmaja Bandaru (AMSA)
Kelly Powers and Padmaja Bandaru will lead a discussion on the updated ACM K-12 Computer Science Standards and demonstrate a process to map your curriculum to the national Computer Science standards.

Research Talks

CS Principles
Ralph Morelli (Trinity College) and Chinma Uche (Greater Hartford Academy Of Mathematics And Science)
Ralph Morelli will present the College Board's CS Principles project, and his undergraduate course based on this framework and using MIT App Inventor. Chinma Uche will describe her version of the course in a high school context.

Computer Forensics
Xinwen Fu (UMass Lowell)
Xinwen will describe latest work in computer forensics and security, including his development of a surveillance quadcopter that can localize ground radio signals.

Historical CS Education Research
Fred Martin (UMass Lowell)
Fred will give a survey of research conducted in the 1980s on how children and college students learn programming. The discoveries made during this time are still relevant for us today.

Modern Data Management
Tingjian Ge (UMass Lowell)
Compared with classical database systems (e.g., as in a bank or business), sensors, smartphones, RFID tags, and social networks provide new kinds of data. These data are noisy, incomplete, and stream at high volumes. Tingjian will describe ways of processing these new data sources.

Telepresence Robotics for Students and Families
Kate Tsui (UMass Lowell)
Individuals who are confined to a hospital miss everyday interactions with their families. Students who are medically fragile lose opportunities for social interactions if they can't attend classes. To foster connections for these individuals between friends and loved ones, Kate Tsui is developing telepresence robots, which are mobile robots with live two-way audio and video.

Discussion Sessions

We will organize a set of breakout sessions so we can network with each other around themes of mutual interest.

Please suggest “Birds of a Feather” discussion topics when you register.


Location: The conference will be held at UMass Lowell's Olsen Hall (198 Riverside St., Lowell MA).
Sessions will be held on the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th floors as noted below.
All full-group meetings will be held in the 5th floor conference room (OS503).

Tuesday July 31, 2012

Wednesday August 1, 2012

Thursday August 2, 2012

Registration and breakfast (5th floor)
Networking and breakfast (5th floor)
Networking and breakfast (5th floor)
Welcome: Jie Wang—Chair, UML-CS (OS503)
Introduction: Fred Martin (OS503)
Short talk: Telepresence Robotics (OS503)
Panel/Workshop: Equity in Computing (OS503)
Workshop: Teaching CS with the Finch Robot (OS308 and OS310) lauwers-ppt
(36 MB movie file)
FastRobustnessTestHD (10 MB movie file)
Workshop: App Inventor (OS308 and OS310)
coffee/snacks (3rd floor)
coffee/snacks (3rd floor)
coffee/snacks (5th floor)
...workshop continues...
...workshop continues...
Panel/Workshop: Computer Science Education Advocacy (OS503) wilson-ppt
lunch (OS311)
lunch (OS311)
lunch (OS311)
...workshop continues.
...workshop continues.
Panel: ACM K-12 CS Standards (OS503)
CSTA_K-12_ Standards.pptx
Short talk: Computer Forensics (OS503)
Short talk: Modern Data Management (OS503)
OS219: Appealing to female students
OS210A: Alice/Scratch vs. Python (blocks vs. code)
OS311: Sharing CS teaching best practices (& failures) (gr. 9–12)
OS315: Increasing the profile of CS
OS219: Embedding sci/math into CS
OS210A: Teaching CS with hardware (Arduino; Finch; robotics)
OS311: Sharing CS teaching best practices (& failures) (gr. K–8)
OS315: How to assess CS learning?
coffee/snacks (5th floor)
coffee/snacks (5th floor)
Workshop surveys: and (OS308 or OS310)
Panel: Careers in computing: UML-CS alums David Ceddia, Katlyn DeLuca, Nate Palmer, and Greg Pilla (OS503)
Short talk: Historical CS Ed Research (OS503)
coffee/snacks (5th floor)
Full talk: CS Principles (OS503)
uche-ppt uche-doc
Closing conversation: Comments and feedback (OS503)
Dinner social

After the workshop is complete, please fill out our survey by clicking here.

Thanks to our sponsors!


Event organizers:
Fred Martin and Phyllis Procter, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Kelly Powers and Padmaja Bandaru, Advanced Math and Science Academy, Marlborough, MA

archive... 2011