Contact Info

Join our email discussion list at PS CSTA Google Group.
Contact us via email at csta.pugetsound at
View our meeting calendar at PS CSTA Google Calendar.
Teachers can join CSTA for FREE as individual members.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Next meeting Sat, 9/27: Hacking and Security in CS Teaching

Rarely a week goes by without a security-related topic appearing in the news headlines. Whether it be viruses, worms, identity theft, phishing, or hacking, security is often on the minds of computing professionals and everyday users. In computer science classes, we can introduce the basic principles and practices of computer security and even use security issues and hacking activities to draw students into computer science. Ken Hang from Green River Community College will share two high school level security/hacking competitions designed to inspire students, Cyberpatriot and PicoCTF. The University of Washington security group will share hands-on security activities that can be done even without computers!
           - Ken's Computer Security Education Presentation: PPTX / PDF

Parking is provided free of charge.  If you did not receive parking details, please e-mail

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Next meeting Sat, 6/21: End of Year Wrap Up & Social

Edit: notes posted
Join us to celebrate the completion of another school year and to discuss opportunities and plans for the summer!  We will also put together a preliminary meeting schedule for 2014-2015 and hold annual officer elections - you need not be present to be elected ;-)

Parking is provided free of charge.  If you did not receive parking details, please e-mail

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Next PSCSTA Meeting Sat, 5/17: State of CS Education

Edit: notes posted
  • TopicState of CS Education hosted by Stuart Reges
  • Date: Saturday, May 17, 2014, 10 am - 12 noon followed by socializing and networking 12 − 1 pm
  • Place: UW, Paul Allen Center for CSE, room 691 (Directions & Parking)
In this session, we will discuss important trends in CS education including MOOCs, cloud computing and the proposed AP CS Principles course.  We will learn about the topics discussed at recent conferences including SIGCSE.
Two clock hours will be provided for the workshop portion.  Parking is provided free of charge.  If you did not receive parking details, please e-mail

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Help with Activity #2 for the PSCSTA Redesign

If you completed Activity #1 (the card sort), thanks so much for your time. We have another activity posted now that will continue to help us with our Information Architecture on the site. This activity should take less time (5 - 7 minutes).

Thanks so much for your help, and please feel free to reach out to Susan Evans, if you have any questions.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Spring 2014 Programming Contest Report

We had about 145 students in 50 teams representing 22 schools join us Saturday for our programming contest hosted and sponsored by the Living Computer Museum!   We had 5 schools registered with 5 Teams each: Cleveland, Garfield, Interlake, Kamiak & Tahoma High Schools and 4 Teams from Roosevelt HS.  Thank you to all the teachers who helped promote and coordinate students for our event.  The contest was exciting and close with only 15 points and 16 minutes separating our 3rd and 4th place Novice and Advanced teams, respectively.

Congratulations to all of our participants!  Here are our top winners:
  • Advanced 1st: William, Rowan & Nathan of Garfield HS''s team Dawgbotics
  • Advanced 2nd: Cillian & Emma of Roosevelt HS's team '); DROP TABLE TeamNames;--
  • Advanced 3rd: Tianyi Cao of Hazen HS team 21st
Advanced 1st
Advanced 2nd
Advanced 3rd

  • Novice 1st: Devan, Danny & Evan of Kamiak HS team Helm's Deep
  • Novice 2nd: Jason, Novin, & Mark of Meadowvale HS's "Most Significant Team"
  • Novice 3rd: Parker, Sudharsan, & Arjun Narayan of Skyline HS' team Megatron
Novice 1st
Novice 2nd
Novice 3rd

Having the contest at the Living Computer Museum was real treat, allowing students to check out working computers from the past 50 years.  The LCM made accommodations for our teams well and generously provided great snacks, pizza lunch, T-Shirts & Sweatshirts, plus incredible raffle prizes (including an X-Box One) for our students - much thanks to their staff, coordinated by Justin Spielman.

Special thanks to our precision volunteer judges from local computer companies, fearlessly led by Ebe Janchivdorj, and our incredible speaker, Maya Cakmak of UW’s Human-Robot Interaction department. Key members of the PSCSTA made the contest possible: Lauren Bricker coordinating team registration, Brett Wortzman assembling the contest questions & judges, Andy Davidson as our photographer & arranging our speaker, Susan Evans helping with set up, recycling, redesigning our PSCSTA website, plus several members helping out during the day.  All of these contributions were invaluable to making this event a huge success.  Again thank you all so much.

Please share results and pictures with your students!
Contest Results PDF
(on Flickr, by Andrew Davidson)
- Contest Problems & Data: Spring 2014 Contest

FYI: Part 2 of the Paul Allen Computing Challenge notices have been sent out to individual teams and their teachers.

Earl Bergquist
PSCSTA Vice President & Spring Contest Coordinator

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Programming Contest Registration Opens Monday March 24th at 9:15am.

Registration will open Monday, March 24th at 9:15am for our April 26th Programming Contest.

We are planning for 50 teams this Spring, so only the first 50 registered teams will be guaranteed attendance, we will do our best to allow additional teams attend: any thereafter will be notified and placed on a wait list in case the first teams have not paid by Tuesday, April 8th - after that wait list teams will be invited accordingly.  

Mark your calendar and prepare your students for registration, which now asks for T-Shirt size this year.  There will also be a required CSTA permission slip this year for all students with emergency contact information.  Cost is still $30 per team, and a number of need-based scholarships are available.  We are excited to have the contest hosted at the Living Computer Museum this Spring.  The latest details and the registration link will appear on our Programming Contest tab .

Last Saturday's Meeting Notes:
For those who attended or are interested in notes from last Saturday's App Inventor presentation, I have updated a few of the samples and resources, but the links remain the same:
- The Youth Apps Challenge and here's my webpage of details.
- House Apps Challenge (see your local representative's website for your specific details) 

Thanks to all who attended, good questions and discussions, next time I will schedule 6 hours to present more.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Next PSCSTA Meeting Sat, 3/15: App Inventor

Everyone is building Apps, and they really appeals to our students.  MIT's App Inventor is a visual programming language for developing applications for devices that run the Android operating system.  In this workshop, Earl will lead us through several hands-on activities that show the power of App Inventor, provide us with ideas on how to incorporate App building into our courses, and present the local App Contest opportunities for our students.  Karen Manual from the Technology Alliance will be present to reveal the latest on their Student App Challenge.

Bring your laptop if you like or use the UW computers - App Inventor runs in the Browser, so there is no software to install; you only need a Google account.  There will be Android Tablets available to test your project or if you have an Android device of your own, simply install the "MIT AI2 Companion" from the Google Play Store ( complete instructions ).  

If you want a preview, here's Earl's App Inventor Pages:
- App Inventor 2.0 Tutorials & Resources

- Garfield HS's Summer Apps Class pages (trial of Apps for Good)
- App Inventor 1 Instructions (now outdated, but project ideas are good)