PSCSTA Year in Review

PSCSTA had a banner year during its 2023-24 fiscal year ending on June 30th.  
Our active members rose from 123 to 165 (34% gain) and CSTA+ members rose from 69 to 74 (7% gain)!
Major in-person events included the STEP CS Lightning Talks, Physical Computing Workshop, NCCE Presentation, Regional Meetups (Seattle, Mt. Vernon, Portland/SW Washington @ SIGCSE, Olympia, Redmond). Major virtual events included: Quarterly open board meetings, CS Endorsement Exam Office Hours, 5829 Discussion, CSTA Online Courses.
Our monthly newsletter – The PSCSTA Connector - was relaunched in Nov 2023 and has been successfully published every month since. Now with a monthly distribution of over 800.
Our student media manager – pre-service teaching candidate Tailer Cochran – was hired to help with our website, newsletter, Facebook/Instagram/X accounts, communities, and other communication. Tailer also studied for and passed Washington’s CS Endorsement Exam.
Finance: Inflows: $7300.  Outflows: $7100.  New sources of funding developed and taxes filed. Washington clock hours provided: 215 hours (60 STEM) to 20 teachers. 2022-23 data 148/24/14.
Free and fair elections with 3 new board members and only one incumbent.  
An operations manual was created and adopted.  PSCSTA recognized as a “Gold Star” chapter by the national CSTA National for its operational excellence.
PSCSTA hopes to build on this success next year and are looking at ways to improve.   According to Chapter President Lauren Bricker:  “I love that our chapter continues to provide quality community and support for those who teach computer science in the Puget Sound and Washington state. We look forward to continuing to serve the needs of our teachers in 2024-25”

July 2024 Issue

 Instagram Logo Black Transparent - Instagram Logo Black Png, Png Download - kindpng  Download Logo Computer Facebook Icon Icons Free Clipart HD HQ PNG Image | FreePNGImg  CII_________________

Attending the CSTA Conference in July? 

Are you going to the CSTA 2024 Annual Conference July 16-19 in Las Vegas? If so, let us know via the PSCSTA community or e-mail and we'll keep you informed of what other chapter members are up to. There may even be a meetup or two. 
If you have good stories to tell about your travails teaching CS, consider being a panelist in It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time, K-12 edition. Even if you are not the panelist type, this session promises to be a fun one for all hosted by Lauren Bricker.  
Why didn't the sun go to college?
... it already had a million degrees
Meet Your Board Members!
ballot box animated. Image 2 of 4


PSCSTA Board Member elections wrapped up in June.  Vice-President Adrienne Gifford, Treasurer Lawrence Tanimoto, and Members-At-Large Michelle Laskowski and Josh Caldwell were all unanimously elected to two-year terms.

Including Board Members who were elected to two-year terms last year and appointed positions, our current board is:

  • President: Lauren Bricker
  • Vice-President: Adrienne Gifford
  • Treasurer: Lawrence Tanimoto
  • Secretary: Jacqueline Russell
  • Member-at-Large: Tracey Sconyers, Michelle Laskowski, Josh Caldwell
  • Equity Fellow: Jennifer Styer
  • Social Media Manager: Megan Foertsch
Interested in running next year or want to learn more about each position's responsibilities? Make sure to check out our Board Manual!

June Open Board Meeting Recap

On June 5, there was an open board meeting held over zoom. There were introductions made for everyone applying for positions in the upcoming election and we introduced our new Social Media Manager Megan Foertsch, who is currently a Junior at Whitworth University, and will be taking Tailer Cochran's place. As well as an amendment made and put into place to allow board candidates to only run for one position at a time.
Discussion also took place about reconnecting with old CS communities and an ongoing discussion about the importance of CS education in K-5. We also happily discussed some upcoming events and travel to Las Vegas where some of our members will be attending the CSTA 2024 Annual Conference. 
If you missed this board meeting make sure to check out the meeting minutes and to stay tuned for our next open meeting coming up soon!
Event Image

Teacher Spotlight: David Farnell

David Farnell is the only 6-12 STEM teacher in North River School (and District), a remote rural K-12 school (Capitol Region ESD 113), with 54 students.   Earlier this year, David decided to teach computer science at North River and enrolled in the PSCSTA CS Endorsement Exam Prep Course.
Why did you decide to teach CS at your school?   Get your CS Endorsement?
I've always had an interest in computers and programming. A few years ago, I participated in a Python programming course that was offered at my school, but it was canceled mid-way through. I self-taught myself the basics of programming and decided to integrate programming into some of my math and science courses to make some of the mathematics more accessible to my students. Then I learned of an opportunity to earn a computer science endorsement by examination and thanks to PSCSTA and the Educator Retooling Conditional Scholarship, I was able to pass the exam.
How will your course load change with a more formal introduction to computer science?
This year I taught 7-8th Math, 9-10th Geometry, 11-12 Algebra, 7-8th Science, 9-10th Physical Science, 11-12 Physics.
Next year I will teach 7-8 Math, 9-10 Algebra, 11-12 College in the HS Pre-Calculus, CWU  and 7-8 Computer Science, 9-10 Computer Science, 11-12 Computer Science
What is the biggest challenge in getting CS taught in small schools?
Finding qualified teachers and having administrator and school board support.
How can local CSTA chapters best help teachers in more remote regions?
The resources CSTA has provided and the e-mail support have been of great benefit to me personally. I am not sure what else CSTA can do, but funding is also a big issue in small districts.
B.A. Mathematics, M. Ed. Educational Administration, Emergency Medical Technician

Partner Spotlight: IGNITE Worldwide

For over 25 years IGNITE Worldwide has been dedicated to inspiring, educating, and
empowering girls and gender-diverse youth to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in both their academic and professional careers. The IGNITE Program is intentionally focused on providing cost-free programming to public schools, prioritizing Title 1, tribal, and rural schools so that all students can confidently explore STEM and envision themselves in a STEM field.

At its founding, IGNITE was designed to be a sustainable, equitable way to bridge the gender gap in STEM; a commitment that still guides its mission today. The IGNITE Program serves students through its award-winning curriculum design which includes field trips and workshops. In addition to providing in-school, cost-free STEM programming to students throughout Washington, IGNITE is proud to highlight ongoing nationwide in-person expansion efforts in San Francisco and D.C. Metro areas.
During the 2023-2024 school year, 45 schools participated in over 50 IGNITE Program events. These events were provided in both virtual and in-person settings, depending on what suited the school and company partner best. This past year IGNITE is honored to have worked with volunteers representing 88 companies nationwide and with over 35 IGNITE Partner companies having hosted an IGNITE event at either their office or at the participating school.

If you work in a STEM-related field and want to make an impact with the next generation, learn more about volunteering, or hosting an event with your company - we'd love to hear from you!

Data Corner: Low-income students in Washington

Washington is one of the few states that have targeted a specific underserved population in its computer science education legislation. Washington gives preference to schools with high percentages of low-income students in its grants for computer science education.   
Washington’s legislative support for low-income students in computer science education yields positive results compared to other states.The relative CSEd participation rate (vs. population) of low-income students is 89% in Washington.This compares very favorably to 67% nationwide. However, there is still work to be done.
The chart above - Schools Offering CS (SOCS) Washington - shows that the percentage of schools offering CS (SOCS) drops precipitously as the percentage of low-income students in a school rises.
The chart below - CS Enrollment Percentage in Schools offering CS – shows that the great majority of the difference in CSEd enrollment rates between low-income and non-low-income students comes from a relatively small number of high-income schools. The enrollment rate of low-income students is relatively flat regardless of the percentage of low-income students in a SOCS.  Further, the difference in CS enrollment rates is within 0.1% for low-income and non-low-income students in schools with greater than 40% low-income students. However, the non-low-income student CS enrollment percentage exceeds the low-income percentage by 0.8% in schools with 20-40% low-income students and by 5.0% in schools with less than 20% low-income students.   
Further details on this subject can be found in this blog post.  
CS Enrollment Pct in SOCS

The PSCSTA Rubber Duck Spotlight

This month's Rubber Duck Picture comes from the quarterly open board meeting! This meeting was held over Zoom on June 5th and had a total of 9 attendees (18 if you include the PSCSTA Rubber Ducks who made guest appearances)! Attendees include Catherine Wyman, Lawrence Tanimoto, Lauren Bricker, Tracey Sconyers, Elizabeth Bacon, Tailer Cochran, Megan Foertsch, Adam McDonald, and Mark DeLoura. We look forward to seeing other people's Rubber Ducks' and the adventures that they go on. Please make sure to send your rubber duck pictures by email to, or through direct message on the PSCSTA's Instagram or Facebook to be spotlighted next!
Image above showcases attendees and their rubber ducks (besides Adam and Catherine).
The Puget Sound Computer Science Teachers Association Connector is a monthly newsletter containing relevant information, upcoming events, learning, and connection opportunities for local CS Educators. Previous issues can be viewed by following the "News" tab on the PSCSTA homepage. If you have any comments about the current edition or ideas for future editions, please email If you wish to not be receiving the monthly PSCSTA Connector unsubscribe from them HERE.
Upcoming Events
PSCSTA Donate via Credit Card "Event"
Sep 01, 2023 - Aug 31, 2024
Pacific Northwest CSTA Conference 2024 Social Meetup
Las Vegas Nevada
Jul 17, 2024
5:15 PM - 7:00 PM UTC-07:00
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