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Winchester HS Sept 22 2011 meeting notes

posted Sep 22, 2011, 2:02 PM by Fred Martin   [ updated Sep 26, 2011, 5:13 AM ]
  • discussion about programming activities on tablets (probably there will be more resources on Android than iOS)
CS Ed Week conversation
  • discussion about Renee's message about Mobile Apps day on Fri Dec 2
  • inviting people to CS ed week activities
    • xkcd author
    • Project Jarvis home automation project developer, Barra Ford
    • Dean Kamen
    • this can be like an "in school field trip", arrange a free block, kids bid to go
  • Fred will ask Renee if CAITE will be offering small CSEd week grants to schools like last year
  • Padmaja suggests UML could host a CSEd week event; kids could come by bus (or in Winchester HS case, train!)
  • We could ask Google to host an event
  • or MIT (Shauna Bell – HS teacher outreach) (Mitchel Resnick, Life Long Kindergarten)
  • BU has math day, schools with math interest converge, field trip hosted by BU
Announcement of Elections
  • Kelly and Padmaja are co-presidents, Padmaja will stay, one new co-president will be elected (2 yr terms, except in first yr where Kelly will serve for 1 yr)
  • Rashme is Secretary, Robert Cohen (Wellesley HS) is Treasurer, positions are open for election
  • what will be election procedure?  election buddy, physical mail?
  • who are eligible voters?  37 are on initial list; we've had 5 or 6 ea month, up to 24 one month
  • Padmaja (w/Kelly) will run election process; election should be done by next meeting
  • Candidates should be named within two weeks, anyone can nominate anyone, people can self-nominate. 
  • Send nominations to Padmaja
  • Fred is happy to continue to serve as University adviser
  • Treasurer -- would be good to find a free checking account; maybe PayPal?  Citizens doesn't seem to like to offer free checking
  • Ben is willing to serve in any capacity
  • Ben is nominated for co-President by Fred.  Donna and Dianne seconded. 
  • Shay will unofficially serve as Secretary (take meeting notes)
More CSEd ideas
  • visit to Microsoft NERD Center, like DotDiva
  • Cakewalk (music editing software) with Yamaha keyboard (can make music videos)
  • GarageBand is another option (on Macs)
  • Dianne -- take CAD students on field trips to see different buildings (i.e., MIT Geary bldg; Bullfinch tour at Faneiul Hall [AP students tend not to come])
  • Logistical challenges in organizing central location event for CSEd week
  • How about teleconference/Skype solution -- students would participate more if students knew they wouldn't have to miss a whole day
  • Elaine:  CS Trivia every night with prizes
  • Have Gov. Patrick declare CS Ed week (other states have done this), get proclamation from CSTA national.  Padmaja will get Fred proclamation details and Fred will contact Rick to make the ask.
PD Opportunities
  • UMass Lowell robotics workshop on Saturday Nov 5 (see
  • Bose is offering internship opportunities for students (Framingham); engineers will come work with you in your classes (sound engineering), they co-teach the class with you once per week.  Padmaja will meet with them tomorrow and report (e.g., do they supply part
  • PTC (Norwood) -- Solidworks CAD software -- contact Maria P.; Sketchup (Google's free software)
  • free copies if you go through the training (but you have to pay for the training)
  • comes with Vex robotics (11-mo license)
  • Autodesk has a new curriculum push (AutoCad and AutoDesk Inventor)
  • Leadership Initiatives for Teaching and Technology (LIFT^2). They find companies that teachers can work at for a week in the summer. STEM-oriented companies; you have lunch with a different group each day. "externships" in industry.
  • UMass STEM Summit on October 19
  • Elaine: We shouldn't ignore the arts in our push for STEM
  • MIT Zero Robotics -- programmable spheres that will be run in space -- self-guided instruction from their web site
  • discussion of various robotics materials -- CMU Robotics Academy (NXT Mindstorms); Robot Games (remote-controlled destruction robots); Botball
  • Elaine and Dianne are neighbors -- arrange a friendly robots competition
CS Ed Week
  • Python competition across CSTA Greater Boston schools
  • Re-write an Eminem song about how robots (or CS) are cool
  • Univ. Waterloo programming competition (you can use any language); pitting AIs against one another
Computational Thinking
  • paper on Computational Thinking for Youth co-authored by Irene Lee, Fred Martin, et al
  • difference between mathematics and computational thinking: that the problems are formulated in a fashion that computers can carry them out; using computers to automate the algorithm
  • how can we address all the problems that can benefit (beyond the top students) 
  • go back to 5th kids who can do numeric methods, and could be encouraged
  • how to appeal to girls
  • Ben Small: instead of talking about computational thinking, talk about computational thinkers:  
    • "CT is the ability to clearly describe a problem and its step-by-step solution so that any one or anything can understand both."
    • "Computers are extremely talented at performing menial tasks quickly; Computational Thinkers can leverage that power to find solutions to previously impossible problems."
Next Meeting:
  • Thursday October 20, 2011 at AMSA at 4:30p