Gov. Hutchinson Announces Winners of State Coding Competition
2021 Arkansas Computer Science Educator of the Year Also Announced

Little Rock — Gov. Asa Hutchinson is pleased to announce the winners of the Fifth Annual Governor’s All-State Coding Competition, which was held this past weekend at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Donaghey Student Center. Students at the Don Tyson School of Innovation in Springdale received the first-place prize, students at Rogers New Technology High School in Rogers received second place, and a team from eStem High School in Little Rock received the third place honor.

“For the fifth straight year, this competition has inspired impressive solutions from Arkansas’ top computer science students,” Hutchinson said. “Their work reinforces my confidence that these students will be more than well prepared to take the reins of leadership. When you consider the caliber of the five teachers we recognized, it’s no surprise that we are seeing this excellence in our computer science students.”

The winning team from the Don Tyson School of Innovation (Lucas Kellar, Luke Lyons, and Drake Mayes) each received a 529 college savings plan prize worth $2,000. Students at Rogers New Technology High School (Joshua Willard, Aldan Garner, and David Daniel) each received a 529 college savings plan prize worth $1,000, and students at eStem High School (Elijah Keen, Spencer Knight, and Sergio Markin) each received a 529 college savings plan prize worth $500. In addition to the individual awards, winning schools received $10,000, $6,000, and $4,000 respectively to support their computer science programs.

Since the contest’s 2016 inaugural year, Verizon has provided $225,000 in financial support for the competition. More than 100 teams from across the state participated in this year’s digital regional competition. The top 16 teams from that regional event along with a team from last year’s first-place school received invitations to compete in the 2021 competition.

2021 Computer Science Educator of the Year Named

In addition to the announcing the contest winners at the event, Ashley Kincannon, a teacher at Lake Hamilton Junior High School in the Lake Hamilton School District, was named the 2021 Arkansas Computer Science Educator of the Year. In addition to receiving a $2,500 award when named a finalist, Kincannon received an additional $12,500 award from the Arkansas Department of Education’s Office of Computer Science.

Hutchinson also recognized the other four finalists at the event:

  • Carl Frank – Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts
  • Kimberly Raup – Conway High School (Conway School District)
  • Stacy Reynolds – McGehee High School (McGehee School District)
  • Lauren Taylor – Dardanelle High School (Dardanelle School District)

We appreciate the service of all the computer science educators in the state of Arkansas, the sponsors who made this year’s competition possible, and we appreciate and congratulate all the participants and winners for such a successful event!

Original Source Here

Conway Public Schools as well as Crossett High School is currently in search of a Computer Science Teacher. If you or someone you know has the 528 certification, is enthusiastic about Computer Science, and has an interest in or willingness to learn Programming and Networking/Hardware, we encourage you to apply. Please help build the Computer Science Program for the continuation of computer science education for students!

The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Office of Computer Science announced in December the continuation of the Computer Science Innovation Grant opportunity for Arkansas public K-12 schools. This opportunity includes up to $250,000.00 in total reimbursement funding that has been allocated for the purchase of curriculum, software licenses, non-fundamental equipment, professional development, student incentives, and other approved expenses that directly support the instruction of the ADE K-12 Computer Science and Computing Standards.

This is a multi-stage competitive grant process; each proposal will be judged by a committee. Chosen proposals will be invited and required to complete and submit an ADE required grant application, based on the proposal, for full approval before funding is awarded and released. ADE expects to award approximately three $25,000.00 grants, five $20,000.00 grants, and ten $7,500.00 grants; however, ADE may elect not to award all grants or full grant amounts if the quality of the proposals do not warrant award. ADE maintains the discretion to award, not award, and/or modify award amounts of any or all grants under this program. Prior receipt of funding under previous Computer Science Innovation Grant programs does not disqualify proposals.

The proposal submission system can be accessed at:

Proposals will be evaluated on the level of innovation and potential effectiveness in regards to:

  • Broadening student participation in computer science courses with an additional emphasis placed on programs that broaden participation within underserved populations
  • Increasing computer science teacher capacity within the school and understanding of computer science for involved educators
  • Increasing community understanding and local industry support of local computer science initiatives/programs
  • Number of, and the impact on, students, teachers, and/or community members reached by the proposal
    Follow up components and/or outreach/marketing components

The proposal process is open and will close at 11:45 p.m. CST on 04/30/2021; award decisions will be released by 05/28/2021.

Grant proposals must include a proposed budget that includes a summary of all costs, and lists any outside funding expected. Spending of awarded grant funds may deviate up to 10% within each category without additional approval; however, no additional funds will be granted for programs that exceed awarded amounts. Programs will be forward funded up to 50% of the projected grant award amount; the remaining 50% will be funded once the first half is fully and appropriately expensed. Organizations may contract with curriculum / professional development providers to provide training to educators as needed.

Selected schools will be required to submit an official ADE grant application, budget and budget narrative, and other documentation and reports throughout the grant process.

The grant performance period will be July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022; initial funding will not be distributed until after July 15, 2021.

The funding for these one-time grants is being provided by the ADE Office of Computer Science, and is subject to the availability of funds appropriated by legislative act.

“As a former STRIVE participant and mentor, I can honestly say I have become a better educator because of this program. By working with local businesses in the community, I have been able to identify and implement the critical skills students need after graduation. What is the one question all students ask when doing their work? …WHY? Well, I can tell you that the why has been answered in my classroom! I am able to relate the essential skills and learning targets to real-world concepts and ideas with each lesson unit. The STRIVE program has not only given me the experience of a lifetime, it has given my students the experience of a lifetime as well.”

-Whitney Major, STRIVE participant and mentor, Science Teacher at Lake Hamilton Jr. High.

The STRIVE program is looking for qualified, motivated, STEM educators to participate in a 5-week program through UALR and local businesses in the community. The applicant will be placed with a business during the summer to work with the employers during a 5-week period where they will be compensated $750 a week!

The goal of the program is to bridge the gap between what is being taught in the classroom and the skills in which employers look for in a new employee. During the placement, the educator will learn about different job skills, qualifications, and expectations (educational, job duties, etc.) within the business. They will then use the information learned during the placement to create a meaningful lesson centered around the implementation of STEM skills. Applicants will be required to gather pre and post data (assessments, surveys, etc.) in order to show how their student has grown in a specific skill set or content area using STEM skills.

They have potential placement opportunities in the following towns: El Dorado, Fort Smith, Hot Springs, Jonesboro, Little Rock, McGhee, Mountain View/Fifty Six, Norfork, and North Little Rock.

See the handouts below for more information OR contact Dr. Mark Baillie through email: [email protected].

The deadline has been extended to April 11, 2021!

Application Link:

We have some great news in Arkansas STEM! The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) plans to support middle school and high school STEM education in Arkansas by means of the Pathways Academy community engagement program.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) is launching a new community engagement program to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in public middle schools and high schools in Arkansas.

UAMS’ Division for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has received a $800,000 grant to establish the Pathways Academy. The grant comes from the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services Temporary Assistance for Needed Families program and is renewable for up to five years, representing a potential $4 million investment.

This STEM education program will utilize online tools to aid students whose families qualify for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. These Pathway Scholars will receive assistance and preparation for careers in the STEM and health care fields.

Some of the resources the Pathways Academy will provide including mentoring, tutoring, opportunities to attend conference and seminars, internships, summer programming and technical training. The program will also work with the students’ parents to help them support their children’s academic careers.

“The Pathways Academy is meant to not only give students the opportunity to explore and pursue careers in science and health care fields, but to build bridges of community engagement and education in communities with underrepresented minority populations, opening doors for clinical and translation research as well,” Brian Gittens, Ed.D., MPA, UAMS vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion, said in a statement.

According to Gittens, the program’s first priority is developing a staff to create curriculum, program development and administration. The team will then begin recruiting students, parents and teachers.

The long-term goals for the program is to grow to approximately 1,200 students in Arkansas, Gittens said.

Courtesy of Arkansas Money & Politics, March 11, 2021

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Department of Education is pleased to announce the five educators selected as finalists for the 2021 Arkansas Computer Science Educator of the Year award.

“The ADE Office of Computer Science received many quality applications,” Anthony Owen, the state director of Computer Science Education, said. “This year’s applications were some of the most competitive we have seen in the three years of this award. Unfortunately, our team could only select five, and we selected the educators who best demonstrated both a long-term and ongoing commitment to, passion for, and impact on computer science education in Arkansas and the nation. These educators have earned and deserve this recognition.”

The 2021 Arkansas Computer Science Educator of the Year Finalists are as follows.

  • Carl Frank – Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts
  • Ashley Kincannon – Lake Hamilton Junior High School (Lake Hamilton School District)
  • Kimberly Raup – Conway High School (Conway School District)
  • Stacy Reynolds – McGehee High School (McGehee School District)
  • Lauren Taylor – Dardanelle High School (Dardanelle School District)

Each finalist will receive a $2,500 award from the ADE Office of Computer Science. A panel of representatives from the ADE Computer Science Unit, the 2020 Arkansas Computer Science Educator of the Year, external industry leaders, and other education experts will review the finalists’ applications and select the 2021 Arkansas Computer Science Educator of the Year based on a rubric scoring system. The winner, who will be announced at a later date, will receive an additional $12,500 award.

(Courtesy of the Arkansas Department of Education, March 16, 2021)

We congratulate all winning finalists and participants for the Arkansas Computer Science Educator of the Year, and we thank all educators for their service!

There’s Still Time to Participate in This Year’s National Day of Design, Virtual Voyagers! The Virtual Voyagers mission encourages students to employ critical thinking skills, teamwork, STEM principles, and an entrepreneurial mindset to create a solution to a real-world, relevant challenge — cybersecurity.

On December 10, 2020, for the first time in Arkansas, Nettleton STEAM will host an In-Flight Educational Downlink, a live, 20-minute conversation with Expedition 64 astronauts aboard the International Space Station! This is an exciting opportunity for Nettleton STEAM students, both onsite and virtually, and students across the state of Arkansas. Nettleton STEAM has partnered with A-State and other entities, including the Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education, for this collaborative effort.

Arkansas PBS will live-stream the event through their various digital platforms and record it for a special broadcast date for a future date to be determined.  It will also be broadcast through Facebook Live, NASA website, KASU and NASA TV.

Nettleton STEAM will be notified by December 3rd of the exact time slot for the live downlink, which is currently scheduled to occur sometime between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

We hope students all over the state will join this event to witness history being made in Arkansas. For classrooms with the opportunity to view the downlink, please send the name of your school, classroom grade, and the number of students in the class to Jill Clogston, A-State Education Renewal Zone Director at [email protected]<mailto:jc[email protected]>. Virtual attendance information will be provided to NASA after the event.

Tag your class watch parties with #STEAMandAStateEducatingforthefinalfrontier

For additional information, please contact Kelli Cochran, Nettleton STEAM Facilitator at<>.

Although tonight will be the last live sessions for the ACTM Month of Math Virtual Conference, it is not too late to register for the conference to have access to the recordings and materials for all the presentations.;;sdata=JjVBWLGHxBIW9cUftglZsdnVCPyPLFFWdPCf03SekWE%3D&amp;reserved=0

I also wanted to share with everyone an example of a highly valuable resource that was provided during this week’s presentation by Dr. Kim McComas, Lorie Huff, and Teresa Ellis-Stevenson on “Growth Mindset for Sustaining Student Agency through a Pandemic.” The presenters gave us permission to share this Tic Tac Grow Choice Board with all educators to use with students to foster a growth mindset:;;sdata=zHOHsaSQktzdqnh66p63qlIhRVuoTC%2BXN0aBwG6e7Mg%3D&amp;reserved=0