Catherine Wyman and Jennifer Styer organized a successful PSCSTA Regional meetup at Skagit Valley College, highlighting pathways in Computer Science and STEM. The event's success underscores a growing demand for in-person education meetups to further collaboration among educators.

On Tuesday, January 16th Catherine Wyman and Jennifer Styer organized the first Regional meetup of 2024 at Skagit Valley College in Mt. Vernon. The main focus of this meetup was to showcase a few pathways available for students who are looking to have a career in Computer Science or other STEM fields. Speakers from Skagit Valley College (SVC), Everett Community College (EVCC), and Western Washington University (WWU) talked about the unique opportunities each school offers as well as how they are trying to break down barriers, so more people are able to enter the growing CS Field. The 27 attendees also had the opportunity to earn 1 STEM Clock hour, received some cool swag (like the duck pictured), and ate some pizza/ snack all while collaborating and networking with fellow educators.

SVC and EVCC both talked about how they have changed class requirements to better support students who want a career in CS/ STEM. Students can now have a direct path as early as High School (if enrolled in dual credit) to earn a CS degree from both institutions. Both institutions are also going hand in hand to truly find the best fit for each student when it comes to what career path they want. Instead of funneling students directly into a CS degree, they have a broader experience early on to truly see whether a different path in CS is best for them. Western Washington University talked about their new CS Teaching Degree being an option for students interested in teaching CS. WWU also shared their ever-growing EduTOYpia, which is a resource for educators to find appropriate toys and tangibles to better support students in their classroom (which is a great way to test out a robot before purchasing it!)

Huge thank you to all attendees and supporters of this NW Regional meetup, it wouldn't have been as successful without you all. This includes, but is not limited to: PSCSTA for Swag and snacks, Pizza from NWESD, Swag from Microsoft TEALS (thank you Adam McDonald!), SVC for hosting, and of course the organizers Catherine Wyman and Jennifer Styer! After all was said and done one thing was clear, there is a desire for more in person meetups where people can collaborate and network. Lucky for you PSCSTA will help fund your educator meetup. Just check out the link HERE to learn more about creating your own educator meetup:) 
    Picture taken at the Regional Meetup        Picture of the swag table provided by TEALS and PSCSTA
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