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April 2018 Central/North Meeting Announcement

posted Apr 5, 2018, 6:49 AM by Kimberly Smith

Hi Everyone,

CSTA Central NJ is pleased to announce our April meeting where our guest speaker will be Professor Stephen A. Edwards <http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~sedwards/> of Columbia University on Wednesday April 11th at Princeton University from 6-8pm.

Professor Edwards will be giving a beginners introduction to computer architecture using the famous Altair 8800 computer as a model. The presentation will include basics of computer architecture for K-12 teacher and historical context for one of the earliest "personal computers". The Vintage Computer Federation <http://vcfed.org> has graciously offered to provide a real working Altair 8800 (circa 1974 or so) and Professor Edwards will be bringing the newly available Arduino based Altair emulator <https://www.altairduino.com/> for those interested in a unique project for your Arduino based classrooms. Imagine being able to literally show your students how people used to, once upon a time, program computers with literal on and off switches!

In short, this presentation is aimed at all levels!

Our schedule will be:

6-7pm - Professor Edwards - Altair 8800 Architecture and History
7-8pm - Free discussion time

No need to RSVP at this point. Stay tuned for details about room location and parking. Food will be provided (thanks, Princeton!).

As long as you are planning your calendar, be sure to consider the upcoming Vintage Computer Festival East on May 18-20th at InfoAge in Wall, NJ:


Students 17 and younger get in for free! 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with questions about this event or anything else.

Best wishes,


Mon, Jan 15, 2018 Announcement

posted Feb 6, 2018, 7:26 AM by Kimberly Smith   [ updated Feb 18, 2018, 3:12 PM ]

Dear Members,

What is that famous curse? May you live in interesting times?

Plans for the upcoming Central meeting (Wednesday, February 7th - 6-8pmare changing on a daily basis as we adapt to the news that all high schools will be required by NJ state law to offer a computer science class in the 2018-19 school year.

At the same time, so many members and non-members have told me that meeting topics are either too complex or too easy. We need to help all of you who are offering AP CS A and CSP and looking for the next, more advanced, class. We especially need to do better in terms of reaching K-8 teachers and teachers looking to integrate computer science in cross-curricular design. On top of all that, superintendents, principals and teachers will all be looking at us for answers as to how they can successfully offer computer science now mandated by state law at their school.

To that end, here is a tentative look at the meeting schedule:


Beginner: CSTA CNJ K-8 Representative Tristan Miller of Van Derveer Elementary School will be teaching a BEGINNER class in Scratch with emphasis on using Scratch across other subjects. ABSOLUTELY NO BACKGROUND IS REQUIRED. Invite your math teachers, invite your science teachers, invite your art teachers, invite your principals, invite your K-8 colleagues, invite your new Governor! Make sure everyone brings a computer, though!

Advanced: Lars Sorensen, one of our most amazing supporters from Rutgers, will be doing an introduction to PyGame. The expectation is that everyone will have basic knowledge of Python, have installed PyGame <https://www.pygame.org/wiki/GettingStarted> and bring their own computer. This is highly recommended if you are looking at offering a game programming class (easily pre, post or along with AP) at your school and, best of all, PyGame is mutli-platform.

7pm - Daryl Detrick, our most valued advocate for CS education, will be discussing What Now in regards to the new legislation and the goings and comings in the new NJ government. This will be especially important for your administrators to get up to date on what the ramifications of the law will be and how best to meet them. Daryl will tells us everything he knows up to the minute and field questions.

7:20pm - Any college with faculty in attendance will be given time to discuss any course offerings that might help teachers who are likely to be thrown in the deep end for teaching CS in Fall 2018-2019 and any offerings that might help teachings teach AP CSP, AP CSA, or any courses before or beyond. If you know any college faculty not on our list, please invite them!

Whatever is left will be our typical free mix discussion time. We recognize this time is considered by many to be the most valuable, but we are in such extraordinary times that something had to give for this particular meeting. We value your time and do everything possible to respect it.

If at all possible, bring a guest. Bring two guests. Bring your entire faculty. Bring your entire district. But please RSVP to me so we can make sure we have enough pizza for everyone (graciously provided by Rutgers University).

Since the hope is that this message will be forwarded far and wide, we will have final details (room numbers etc.) always posted at:


As soon as we know them.

Please forward this to everyone you know!

Best wishes,


Dec. 6th 2017 Meeting at Princeton University

posted Dec 10, 2017, 1:34 PM by Kimberly Smith   [ updated Jan 21, 2018, 3:25 PM ]

Wednesday, December 6th
Princeton University
The Convocation Room in the Friend Center. 

You can park for free in Lot 13. Here is a parking map:*Lot 13 should be 10A based on the Princeton parking map.
Our host tells me that Lot 13, Lot 10, 13, and 2 are all under 5 minutes walking and are free after hours and on weekends.


And here are bunch more maps for your convenience:



6-7pm - Interview and Q&A with Brian Kernighan, Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Kernighan> and otherwise very famous computer scientist/computer science teacher.

7-8pm - Chatting amongst your colleagues. Meet new friends, catch up with old friends, whatever you are interested in!

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