Expanding Pathways in Computing (EPIC)

EPIC Newsletter

3/6/20 Newsletter

Published on 3/6/20 by EPIC Staff


WeTeach_CS is thrilled to announce our 2020 WeTeach_CS Summit keynote speakers. The speakers will present on topics such as engaging women in the field of computer science, integrating computer science across other subjects, and building bridges between artificial intelligence(AI) and social good.

Meet our first speaker, Tricia Bery, Director of the Women in Engineering Program, UT Austin.

Keynote Session: SciGirls Code: Strategies to Engage Girls (and All Students) in Computer Science

Named one of the 100 Women Leaders in STEM by STEMconnector, Tricia leads efforts to recruit and graduate women in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. She also serves as the collaborative lead for the Texas Girls Collaborative Project, leading the dissemination of STEM best practices and informal curriculum across Texas in coordination with the National Girls Collaborative Project.

During her keynote, Tricia will share research-based strategies designed to engage girls (and all students) in computer science and STEM. You will walk away with an understanding of current demographics and research, practical applications of the SciGirls strategies, and resources for the classroom and beyond.

You can register for the 2020 WeTeach_CS Summit by visiting the event page: https://utakeit.tacc.utexas.edu/weteach_cs-summit-2020/. For all conference-related inquiries, please email us: weteachcs@austin.utexas.edu.



In January 2020, Expanding Pathways in Computing (EPIC) hosted a workshop called Cyber Encounters for more than 50 high school teachers, curriculum providers, and administrators from across the state of Texas at the Texas Advanced Computing Center in Austin. The free workshop was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The EPIC team is building internal cybersecurity capacity through WeTeach_CS by serving as a clearinghouse for schools interested in developing these pathways, building a community of practice, and vetting the resources that are being developed around the country to determine their alignment with Texas course standards for high school. [read more]



Building an effective CS program is difficult. WeTeach_CS has partnered with CS Braintrust for the 2020 Summit to offer a session designed to make that process easier.

What curriculum should I use in my school? How do I schedule a CS class? What development do my teachers need? How can I engage my community members through coding? These are all questions that school leaders grapple with when launching a Computer Science program. Our best answers can be found in our CS Playbook, a living document of best practices and resources from the Braintrust schools.

What will I do in this session? Evaluate the state of your current Computer Science program, set a plan for what actions you'll take next to enhance your program, and dig into resources aligned to push your practices.

Who should attend this session? You should. Maybe you're a district leadership who's built a K-12 pipeline network-wide. Maybe you're a teacher who's taught CS in a single block during an Hour of Code event. Maybe you're a counselor looking to build out a meaningful program for your soon-to-be graduates. Maybe you're a group of teachers and administrators (even better!) looking to advance the work. What matters is you want to grow and advance your Computer Science program, and you're ready to work! Register for the summit today.



Participants will gain access to free Cybersecurity curricula by NICERC that is rigorous, relevant, and aligned to the TEKS for the new Introduction to Cybersecurity course. Additionally, participants will be led through a number of lessons in the curricula, so they can make immediate and effective use of it upon return to their classrooms. During the workshop, teachers will be given temporary access to an online cyber range resource so they may practice the hands-on components of the content in a supportive setting.

Additional details and registration are here.

Code.Org Deep Dive


Are you an elementary school educator in Central Texas who has experience teaching CS Fundamentals and looking to dive deeper or get more support? Please join us at our newest professional development workshop, CS Fundamentals Deep Dive (at no cost) on Saturday, April 4th. Space is limited!

Details and registration are here.



TEA: The application window for Cohort 2 Lone Star STEM Grant opened February 28th. This grant is to support current and future College and Career Readiness School Models (CCRSM) interested in developing or expanding a pathway in computer science and/or cybersecurity. For more information about the Lone Star STEM grant see the TEA Lone Star STEM web page: https://tea.texas.gov/academics/college-career-and-military-prep/texas-lone-star-stem.

The TEA has a new STEM web page dedicated to Pre-K-12 STEM Programming that includes the STEM Framework and tools districts can use to develop Pre-K-12 STEM programming and CCRSM STEM pathways https://tea.texas.gov/academics/college-career-and-military-prep/stem-science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics.

BootUp: The nonprofit BootUp has teamed up with Amazon Future Engineer to bring computer science to more than 1,000 elementary schools at no cost! We'd love for you to apply for the sponsorship. For more information and to apply visit https://afebootup.smapply.org/. If you have any questions about the application please reach out to abby@bootuppd.org.

More EPIC + WeTeach_CS professional development opportunities can be found on the UTakeIt website.