Feb 7th 2018 Meeting

posted Jan 21, 2018, 3:13 PM by Kimberly Smith
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,