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Nominations for Career and Technical Education Curriculum Review Committees September 12, 2013

Posted by rdovi in Uncategorized.
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Hi folks!

The state of Virginia is about to review their CTE curriculum. If you would like to be on the committee to help with the development of the computer science classes more info is here:


The application is here:

I am putting in to do the Computer Science classes. It would be nice to have a strong CSTA presence on the committee.



Loaning out 1,000 Finch robots for CSEdWeek and other news September 12, 2013

Posted by rdovi in Uncategorized.
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Hi folks! I hope your school year is going well.

Below is an e-mail from the SIGCSE list serve from the folks at Finch robotics. They are offering loaner Finch robots for CS Education week in December.

Also the window for girls to apply to the NCWIT awards program is opening on Sept 15th. Please have everyone of your girls apply to this amazing award. We’ve had several state and national winners here in central VA and they have had great experiences.


VA – DC Affiliate NCWIT Aspirations Award: https://awardportal.ncwit.org/comps.state.php?competitionId=89&action=detail

See you all soon!



———————— Forwarded message

As part of this year’s CSEdWeek, we are offering to loan out
1,000 Finch
robots for use by school districts. We will provide a detailed,
one hour
activity for students to program the Finch robot with Snap!

Our goal is to catalyze coding and computer science learning
for students who might not ordinarily have the opportunity to
program a
robot as part of their typical classroom experience.

We are currently looking to partner with school districts. We
have an
application form collecting responses until October 4th. If you
at schools/districts who might like to participate, please have
at http://bit.ly/1000robotsapplication
How does it work?

We are pledging to loan out robots to up to 20 school districts
educational organizations. We will cover all shipping costs, as
well as
costs associated with any robots that break in transit or
during the
program (we have high confidence in the Finch’s robustness!).

We will send five robots to each participating organization at
beginning of November, as an advance squad to ensure that there
are no
software or IT glitches on school computers, and to allow
participating in the program to practice or modify the

We will ship the bulk of the robots to districts in the first
week of
December, to arrive by December 4th at a central receiving
area; school
districts are responsible for final delivery to participating
Program Requirements

We are looking for partners who could fulfill the following

– Can deploy the program to at least 250 students. We will
be shipping
robots in batches of 50, and we expect each robot can be
used by a
of five different students in the course of the week.
– Have teachers or volunteers ready to participate in two-
three hours
online training in November and willing to dedicate an
additional five
hours to preparation/learning.
– Have a standard period (at least 40 minutes, hopefully
longer) of
available to devote to the activity.
– Have a laptop cart or computer lab that allows for a ratio
of no
than two students per computer/robot.
– Pledge to share the robots equally between students; we
is a fundamental and basic skill, not an advanced topic. If
student in
a given grade is provided this opportunity, all of their
peers in that
grade should receive it as well.
– Pledge for the majority of students in the program to be
in 4th-9th
grade. Scratch and Snap! are quick to learn and successfully
used by
children as young as 7 or 8.
– Pledge to tell us the number of students who participated
in the
program upon program completion.

Finally, we will give precedence to applications coming from
districts that have a large number of students in free/reduced
programs at the schools in which they plan to use the robots.

An application form and more information is available on our
website at:


Tom Lauwers

Owner, BirdBrain Technologies LLC