November 18 Deadline for CSTA Poster Contest


The November 18th deadline for the “We Are the Faces of Computing” poster contest submissions is fast approaching.  This contest invites students of any age to design a poster that highlights the diverse and creative ways that students do computer science together.  CSTA’s Equity Committee is hosting this contest in honor of CSEdWeek.

Posters can be submitted by elementary, middle, and high schools and there is no limit to the number of posters that can be submitted from each school.

1.     An image of students must be in the poster.
2.     The theme, “We are the Face of Computing” must be clearly visible on the poster.
3.     Students should include creative images that reflect their lives, interests, and experiences with computing.
4.     Poster files must be no larger than 10MB and submitted in .pdf format using online form.
5.     Winners of Elementary School, Middle School, and High School competitions will receive a either three Finch robots or a Lego Mindstorms robot for their classrooms and have their posters published on the CSTA website.
6. Winning schools must be able to provide parental permission forms for all students appearing in their posters.  (The permission form can be found on the CSTA website at


1.     Submit final poster, along with student names, teacher/advisor name, school, city, and grade-level, to form at by November 18, 2013.
2.     Winners will be notified by email and announced during CS Education Week, beginning December 10.

Last year’s winning posters can be found at:

For more information, please visit:


or contact Equity Committee Chair Joanna Goode at


Honouring the Past

If you’ve never been in a school at night, you really need to experience it.  Go very late when it’s totally dark and just walk the halls.  Whether you believe in ghosts or not, you can’t help but feel the essence of something there.

It’s the laughter of children, the tears of frustration when they don’t understand, the community of friends that learned and played together, the friendships of growing up with neighbours, the respect that “this was Mrs. so and so’s room, the feelings of accomplishment when someone finally gets it, the skinned knees in the gym, the enhancements that a fund raising community brought to the school, and so much more.

Each generation of teaching staff and students brought a culture shift in the school, along with the pride of being a graduate of XYZ School.

And yet, a vote by a small group of people in a place removed from the school building can end it all in moments.

Based on geography or population shifts or aging, all of this goes away.  Recently, my wife and I had an opportunity to return to our home town.  My old elementary school is still a thriving educational location; her’s is now closed.  Students who would normally go to that school are now bused instead to a different community to learn with different friends.

All of the trophies and academic awards are now rendered irrelevant.  Who wants to be known as the top student of a school that’s not even there?

I get the reasons.  I really do.  I think we’ve all had the experience of fixing and refixing a car until it’s just time to get a new one.

But it really struck me listening to her sharing her experiences from memory as we drove by her old school.  There was her Grade 2 room, the swings were over there, the boys would go here at recess and the girls would go there, there was the place that so and so got into trouble, …

Kids are resiliant.  They’ll get up the half an hour earlier to make the ride to another town.  After a couple of weeks in the new setting, they won’t even notice that they’re now in a portable classroom.  They might even enjoy the fact that the bigger population offers more specialized programs and opportunities for them.

The learning and growing up that went before them fades quickly.

Until a former graduate drives by.

OTR Links 11/07/2013

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.