Computer Science Education Week 2020

Every year in December, various computer science organizations work together to celebrate Computer Science education and history during Computer Science Education Week. Many events are held during this time to “inspire K-12 students to learn computer science.” If you follow Bio::Neos activity on our blog or LinkedIn you have certainly recognized that we love to par ti ci pate in this celebratory week with our local and regional educators.

And then,

2020 happened...

Much like everything else last year, 2020 forced some changes for our typical routine and we had to adjust to the new normal. However, across the globe there were still 68,242 events registered in over 180 countries! Many of these likely included virtual meeting, or virtual visits from industry and our local organizations attempted to help plan similar events for our region. Sadly, although we had several employees ready and willing to participate in the week virtually, the Iowa City - Cedar Rapids (ICR) corridor had very few requests registered for any special virtual visits. Everyone was just too busy holding onto the seat of their pants as we navigated the craziness of 2020.

Regardless, I decided to put in the extra effort to keep my streak of participation alive and I contacted my first grader's elementary teacher to see if she would be interested in bringing me into the "Zoom" for a few minutes to talk to the kids during their virtual morning meeting on Friday, December 13th. And she agreed!

As usual, I had a great time talking to the kids about Computer Science and its importance in their futures, and we even got a chance to record the presentation and the childrens' participation! We will try to post a video of the event shortly (but be patient because we are not professional videographers and cannot afford real experts to help with our post-processing!). Here is a link to the presentation, for anyone that is interested in what I covered:

Computer Science Education Week Presentation, 2020

The focus on the conversation with the kids was centered around the three topics

  • What is Computer Science?
  • Why is Computer Science Important?
  • Example industries affected by Computer Science
    (Automobiles, Video Games, First Responders)
  • I chose three industries with careers that I felt would be of interest to first grade students, to highlight the affect that Computer Science has in all areas, even those that you don't often recognize. I hope I succeeded in inspiring some of them to pursue additional education and learning focused on Computer Science, but it was pretty hard to tell, especially in the remote environment. Once we get the video posted, I'll let you all decide (we will host a poll on LinkedIn)!

    From all of us at Bio::Neos, we want to thank our educators for everything they are dealing with in this extraordinary environment. Ideally, in 2021 we can once again participate in more local and regional CSEdWeek events, and year round with the Hour of Code program. Follow our LinkedIn feed for more news in 2021 about our commitment to promoting computer science education in the ICR area and throughout the state of Iowa.

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