Election Results


Congratulations to the following recently elected or re-elected officers of the Maine chapter of the Computer Science Teacher Association-

President Laura Johns of Surry Elementary School

Vice President Julie York of South Portland High School

Secretary Tom Bickford of Maine Robotics

Treasurer Gina Lewis of Oak Hill High School

Upcoming Awards



Calling all hackers, coders, and 9th-12th grade women! Applications are open for the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Award for Aspirations in Computing. Recipients receive engraved awards, scholarship and internship opportunities, entry to a peer-network of technical women in the NCWIT AiC Community, various prizes, and more. Students can apply online at http://bit.ly/AiCHSAward no later than 11:59 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time (HST) on November 6, 2017. Students with any level of experience are encouraged to apply: NCWIT recognizes aspirations as well as accomplishments!


Calling all teachers, counselors, administrators, mentors, or other influencers who support 9th-12th grade women’s interest in technology! Applications are open for the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Aspirations in Computing Educator Award. Recipients receive recognition at an event, increased visibility in his or her school district and community, NCWIT resources and promotional items, engraved awards, and more. Educators can apply online for the Regional Affiliate Award at http://bit.ly/AiCEdAward, beginning September 1 and no later than 11:59 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time (HST) on November 27, 2017. (National Award applications open on December 1, 2017.)

Upcoming Events

Saturday, September 9th, 11am-3pm
Midcoast Mini Maker Faire at Camden Public Library (Angela will be there!)
More info here.

Thursday, September 14th, 5pm-7pm
Central Maine Tech Night at Hathaway Creative Center in Waterville
Topic From NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to Software Development for Businesses: A Retrospective of 40+ Years in Technology & Innovation
More info here.
Wednesday, September 20th, 6pm-8pm
IT Professionals Networking Event (K-12 CS Teachers are welcome!)
Husson University in Bangor
Guest speaker: Scott Blake, CIO and VP at Bangor Savings Bank
More info here.
Saturday, September 23rd, 8:30am
STEM Ed Camp in Jay
*Maine CS teachers are participating!
More info here.
Saturday, September 23rd, 9am-9pm

Portland Civic Design Fest at Mechanics Hall in Portland

Community project prototype marathon (high and low tech projects)
More info here.
Thursday, October 12th-Friday, October 13th
ACTEM Conference in Augusta
*Maine TeacherCon educators are presenting!
More info here.
Thursday, October 12th, 5pm-7pm
Central Maine Tech Night at Hathaway Creative Center in Waterville
More info here.
Friday, October 20th-Saturday October 21st
Django Girls Event in Portland
Event for girls 14+ to learn programming (students apply)
More info here.
Saturday, October 28, 2017
New England Regional CSTA Conference in Lowell, MA.
More info to follow.
Don’t forget about a few upcoming App Challenges:
Congressional App Challenge-apps due by November 1st (info here)
Tyler Technologies Maine App Challenge-apps due by May 6th (info here)
Blue Ox Technologies App Challenge–apps due by TBD (info here)

CSTA Voting for 2017/18


President – Laura Johns, Surry School, Surry

Vice-President – Julie York, South Portland High School

Secretary – Tom Bickford, Maine Robotics

Treasurer – opportunity is open for nominations

In absence of a face to face meeting, I will serve as election steward. Please go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Maine_CSTA_ballot and vote by September 11.

A great deal of computer science education is occurring in Maine at K-12 as well as in higher education.  We have had the third cohort undergo training in Exploring Computer Science, one cohort be trained in Code.org’s Computer Science Discoveries, and another in Code.org’s AP Computer Science Principles. A law was passed to have Maine create a K-12 computer science education plan, due in January 2018. The University of Maine at Augusta has developed, had approved and implemented a computer science methods course. The Kepware Digital Systems and Robotics Laboratory at the university in Orono is in its second year of engaging electrical and computer engineering students. Maine is definitely on the move.

Maine Summer STEM Schools Meetup

Have you registered for our STEM Schools Summer Meetup on August 15 at Gardiner High School? If not, you can do so here! Remember, this is for anyone who works at a school that has a STEM program or would like to start one.
They’re seeking presenters for the sessions after lunch and would like you to consider sharing with others how your school works STEM into your students’ learning. The sessions are short – 45 minutes – and they’re modeling it to be very low-key with no undue stress and little prep for presenters!

Students Awarded $1500 for Development Work in Maine Student App Contest



CARIBOU, MAINE (5/17/17) — Blue Ox Technologies, Ltd. is excited to announce the winners of its first-ever app contest for Maine students:

FIRST PRIZE: Ryan Topham, an eighth grade student at Massabesic Middle School in East Waterboro, Maine, took top honors with his flexible, full-featured “Homeworker” app.

SECOND PRIZE: Devin Christianson, a senior at Mount Desert Island High School in Bar Harbor, Maine, nabbed second place with his streamlined “Chord Calculator” app.

“We’re excited to recognize the great work done by Ryan and
Devin,” said Blue Ox CEO Christopher York. “Of the almost two
dozen students from Caribou to Saco who registered for the
contest, these two students created very useful finished
products. We hope that all those who participated in the
contest will continue to explore the important field of computer science.”

“Homeworker” by Ryan Topham enables students to track homework due dates and make notes about the work to be done. The app also includes a screen with inspirational sayings to give students a little motivational push when they’re stuck. For his organized, well- executed design, Ryan will receive the $1000 first prize.

“Chord Calculator” by Devin Christianson plays basic chords, as requested by the user, to familiarize a student with chord structure. For his streamlined approach to solving a problem for beginner students, Devin will receive the $500 second prize.

Blue Ox Technologies gratefully recognizes the valuable support provided for this contest by the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance (http://mmsa.org), Project Login (http://projectlogin.com) and the Association of Computer Technology Educators in Maine (http://www.edline.net/pages/actem).

Based in Caribou, Maine, Blue Ox Technologies Ltd. is an independent studio that creates award-winning, family-oriented mobile apps and other entertainment products. Since launching its original Moxie word game in 2009, Blue Ox has produced a string of popular apps on iOS and Android, including 7 Little Words, Red Herring, and Monkey Wrench.


Joe Jordan
Managing Editor
Blue Ox Technologies, Ltd. (207) 266-6224 joe.jordan@blueoxtech.com

Join us!


Good morning – As the current president of the Maine chapter of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), I invite you to join Maine CSTA. Our officers include Julie York of South Portland High School as Vice President, Tom Bickford of Maine Robotics as Secretary and Laura Johns of the Surry Elementary School as Treasurer. As is happening across the nation, state chapters of CSTA are being rejuvenated with increased support from CSTA. Right now our most active feature is our simplelist listserv (if you are not enrolled and wish to be, please send me an email with your preferred email address and I will enroll you. We currently have 73 members, mostly K-12 educators.) Our home webpage is at http://highschool.spsd.org/MaineCSTA/.

Our goals include helping to coalesce and advance K-12 and postsecondary computer science education efforts in Maine. We have various ideas on how to do this. One is that we have supported legislation (for example, see LD 398 (http://mainelegislature.org/LawMakerWeb/summary.asp?ID=280063080) currently being re-written within the Education Committee). Another is that the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance and Educate Maine have partnered with Code.org to be the Regional Professional Learning Partner for Maine. Because of this partnership, some forty Maine teachers will be going to Philadelphia this summer to learn about Computer Science Discoveries (a middle school course) and AP Computer Science Principles (a high school course). This is in addition to the sixteen teachers who constitute the third cohort of teachers learning about the Exploring Computer Science curriculum this summer, bringing the total to almost seventy teachers introduced to this curriculum. We also hope to connect teachers of computer science at all levels with Maine businesses who are computer science based at events such as the Educate Maine Project>Login Meet Ups.

Please join with us, it is free after all, and working together makes more sense than trying to this all alone. Plus we don’t even have an application form!

Thanks to those of you who have already joined Maine CSTA.

Please contact me if you any questions.

Thanks again.  Tom

Thomas E. Keller, Ed.D.
Senior Research Scientist

Executive Director, Maine STEM Council

Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance
207-626-3230 x115 • mobile 207-350-6106 • 219 Capitol Street, Suite 3, Augusta, ME 04330

Registration for the 2016 Maine Digital Festival is now open!


Registration is now open for the 2016 Maine Digital Festival. This year’s event will include workshops about Minecraft, Scratch, GameLab from Code.org and coding with Dot and Dash. An Activities Lab and Hour of Code stations will be ongoing throughout the day. Tickets for the workshops tend to go quickly-so be sure to register today! 

For More Information: http://projectlogin.com/maine-digital-festival/

Register Here: https://goo.gl/OOoAQ0

If you are interested in volunteering: https://goo.gl/vsjWtb

Everyone Can Code: Apple’s New Coding Curriculum


Hello CSTA Friends!

Thanks for your continuing support of Apple’s new coding curriculum. We are excited to announce that our learning and teaching materials for Everyone Can Code are now updated and available for download. Check out Swift Playgrounds, Apple’s new app for teaching coding on iPad. And don’t miss our new iTunes U course which includes video lessons for Swift Playgrounds. App Development with Swift is our curriculum that teaches those new to programming how to build their first app with Xcode. 

All of these materials and Teachers Guides are now available to download in one location in iTunes. Visit Everyone Can Code to explore the story behind teaching and learning code with Swift.

2016 Maine STEM Summit- November 18, 2016 – Colby College


The Summit will focus on the theme “Building Bridges: Developing Partnerships to Build Capacity for STEM Education in Maine”. This summit provides the opportunity to do more than just passively participate and listen to sessions. In addition to an outstanding learning experience the 2016 Maine STEM Summit is designed to support attendees in adding their voices to define new collaborations, projects, and initiatives of many different forms. To address the theme of building bridges the conference welcomes session proposals in the following strands:

1) Maine’s STEM Workforce: Challenges and Opportunities

2) Professional Development: Share, Collaborate, Reform

3) Looking Ahead: Defining and Advocating for Maine STEM in 2026

4) What’s New and What’s Next for STEM Education Research in Maine

For more information, “Save the Date” flyer, and registration go to: http://mainestem.org/stem-summit