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WeTeach_CS Announces the 2020 Change Maker and Mini-Grant Awardees

Published on June 8, 2020 by Faith Singer-Villalobos



The WeTeach_CS (WTCS) Change Makers are teachers, counselors, or administrators who are making an impact in Computer Science education in their community. They were nominated by their peers to acknowledge their great work.

The WeTeach_CS 2020 Change Maker and Mini-Grant Awards are supported by Texas Instruments.
The Mini-Grant Awardees are teachers with fantastic ideas to improve teaching and learning in the classroom. The grants support instructional resources and materials for K-12 Computer Science. Projects include those conducted during after-school activities, summer camps, or in-school programs.

The WTCS Change Maker Awards and the Mini-Grants are supported by Texas Instruments.

WeTeach_CS educates, empowers, and inspires K-12 CS teachers, administrators, professional development providers, and university instructors to realize the vision of Computer Science for All. WeTeach_CS is part of the Expanding Pathways in Computing (EPIC) group at the Texas Advanced Computing Center.

 


Lisa Richardson

Lisa Richardson

WTCS Change Maker (Teacher)

Clear Creek High School, Clear Creek ISD
Award Amount: $750

Lisa is a dedicated teacher who puts forth all of her efforts to see that her students have the opportunity to experience new technology, and use computational thinking and coding. She has a high number of special education, English as a second language, and re-tester students on her campus. Even with that extra responsibility, she diligently uses computer science to entice her students to work hard in her mathematics classroom and consistently gets more than 75% of her students to pass the Algebra 1 STAAR exam each year. She engages students through the use of new technologies such as robotics, drones, computational thinking, and coding.

 


Jessica Olivarez-Mazone

Jessica Olivarez-Mazone

WTCS Change Maker (Teacher)

Rivera Early College High School, Brownsville ISD
Award Amount: $750

Jessica created the first ever Cyber Security Club for Girls on her campus and has helped to secure grants through the Hispanic Heritage Foundation for Coding as a Second Language, Youth Code Jam, and Amazon Engineering Program. Additionally, she is the English I/ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) II teacher who has focused on exposing these students to careers in technology and Computer Science. She has secured grants to help with funding Computer Science programs that are free for students.

 


Catherine Tabor

Catherine Tabor

Mini-Grant Award Winner (Teacher)

Northwest Early College High School, Canutillo ISD
Award Amount: $1,500

Catherine provided a description of the innovation she proposed for funding and how this innovation will be implemented.

Project: Augmented Reality Sandbox
The students will design, build, and program an augmented reality sandbox for use by the Geology teacher in her classes. They plan to use the sandbox as an attraction at CS Expo events for the school and the community.

 


Lisa Bracken-Squires

Lisa Bracken-Squires

Mini-Grant Award Winner

Parmer Lane Elementary School, Pflugerville ISD
Award Amount: $1,500

Lisa provided a description of the innovation she proposed for funding and how this innovation will be implemented.

Project: Coding with KIBO for Young Kiddos
KIBO is a robot kit specifically designed for children aged 4-7. It's a system of wooden blocks designed to teach computer coding to young children without a computer. By using computational thinking, students break down a problem into smaller sequential steps as they analyze outcomes, invent solutions, and test them. This project will help the school obtain age-appropriate coding activities to engage in computational thinking, and build our K-5 STEM program.


To learn more overall, visit TACC's Expanding Pathways in Computing (EPIC) webpage: www.tacc.utexas.edu/epic.


Contact

Faith Singer-Villalobos

Communications Manager
faith@tacc.utexas.edu | 512-232-5771

Aaron Dubrow

Science And Technology Writer
aarondubrow@tacc.utexas.edu

Jorge Salazar

Technical Writer/Editor
jorge@tacc.utexas.edu | 512-475-9411