Computer Science Teacher
Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

May, 2012

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring


    Received this from the CSTA Mailing list yesterday and thought it worth sharing. Do you know someone who is doing an outstanding job of mentoring or a mentoring program that is doing a great job with bringing underrepresented minorities into STEM fields? If so you may want to nominate them for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

    INVITATION FOR NOMINATIONS Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring

    PAESMEM recognizes outstanding mentors and mentoring programs that enhance the participation of individuals from underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Awardees serve as exemplars to their colleagues and leaders in the national effort to develop the nation’s human resources in STEM.

    Who is eligible?

    Individuals who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and U.S. organizations and companies. Mentors and mentoring programs from a variety of contexts—academia, corporate, government, nonprofit—are all welcome.

    What are the criteria? At least five years of outstanding mentoring to a significant number of persons who might not otherwise have considered or had access to opportunities in STEM (including persons with disabilities, women, and minorities) who are either:

    • students at the K-12, undergraduate, or graduate education level; or
    • early career scientists, mathematicians, or engineers who have completed their degree in the past three years.

    What is required?

    A description and documentation of the mentoring methods and procedures of the individual or the organizational nominee, and supporting letters.

    What is the award?

    $10,000 honorary award and an invitation to Washington, D.C., for recognition events and meetings with policy leaders.

    Who can nominate a mentor?

    Anyone can nominate a person or organization. Self-nominations are accepted.

    When is the deadline?

    Nominations are due by June 6, 2012.

    To submit a nomination or for more information, visit or contact

    “…we celebrate the contributions of all those who cultivate a supportive environment for the next generation, and we recommit to expanding mentorship opportunities across our country.” – President Barack Obama, Presidential Proclamation of National Mentoring Month, 2012

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    Game Design with XNA, Kinect and Windows Phone


    Please take a look at the new Game Design with XNA and Microsoft Technologies: Advanced XNA, Kinect, and Windows Phone curriculum units that have just been completed and are ready for classroom (or other) use.

    The teacher-created and classroom-tested lessons and projects are easy to engage and include everything teachers and students need for successful learning—lesson plans, starter projects, video snippets, assessments. (Windows Phone module will be coming online soon)

    The 6-week (30 hour) modules are part of the a full year course on XNA Game development. To see the rest of the XNA teaching resources check out Faculty Connection for High School . And please tell the CS teachers in your area about it!

    1. All the development tools that you need can be downloaded for free. The first thing you will need is the Windows Phone SDK. You can download it from here: You might think it strange to use the Windows Phone SDK, but this contains the latest version of XNA and can be used to create XNA programs for Xbox 360 and Windows PC as well as Windows Phone.

    2. You will also need to download the Kinect for Windows SDK which you can find here:
    This installs the USB drivers for the sensor components and the library file that contains the Kinect for Windows SDK

  • Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

    A reminder–CS & IT Conference 2012


    Have you signed up for the best value in computer science education professional development?

    In today's economy, finding value for your professional development dollar is key. Not many international conferences can make the claim that they offer this but the Computer Science & Information Technology (CS&IT) Conference can.

    With your registration fee of $50 you will receive access to two stellar keynotes, your choice of four high quality, relevant sessions out of 20, a continental breakfast, luncheon, unlimited networking opportunities, and chance to win at the CSIT Big Big Raffle! That's a lot for your money! And we haven't even mentioned the workshops yet.

    For an additional $50, you can attend the workshop of your choice. You've got eight outstanding topics to choose from. Go all out and attend two. You won't regret the investment. Did you know your workshop registration also includes a continental breakfast and lunch? The savings just keep adding up.

    Did we mention the Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences Reception and Tour at UC Irvine? As part of your registration, you are invited to attend at no additional cost.

    See what we mean when we say we can help maximize your professional development dollar? With workshops and sessions to tailored to meet your needs as a CS or IT educator, how can you not attend? It's a terrific bargain on any continent!

    Don't miss out! Register for CS&IT 2012 today at

    This exceptional value is brought to you in part by the generous support of our sponsors, the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, Google, and Microsoft Research.

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