CSforPGH Quickstart Guide

Just in time for CS Ed Week, the CSforPGH working group has released a "Quickstart Guide" full of inspiring examples of how educators in the Pittsburgh region have taken steps to expand and improve computer science education.

As computer science (CS) becomes a more mainstream subject in schools across the state of Pennsylvania, teachers are looking for ways to make this complex topic more approachable and empowering—both for their students and for themselves as educators.

Starting out in computer science can feel like a daunting task, especially for educators with little technical experience and for schools with limited access to computer hardware and software. But it doesn’t have to be!

The CSforPGH Quickstart Guide is for educators looking for ways to integrate computer science and computational thinking into their teaching practice.

Drawing on examples of CS education practiced by K–12 teachers and out-of-school educators throughout the Pittsburgh region, this guide includes 25 “quick starts” as points of inspiration. Each quickstart offers a way for teachers to start small, learn valuable lessons together with their peers and students, and build on what works to take CS education to scale in their classroom, school building, or even across their whole district.


There is a clear and present need for widespread adoption of K–12 computer science education. The need is only more urgent for students from historically marginalized and under-served populations including learners of color, learners in poverty, learners in rural communities, girls in STEM, and learners with exceptionalities.

In response to these structural inequities, Pennsylvania’s elected officials are taking steps to ensure that all students are prepared to participate fully in civic, economic, and political life shaped by computer science.

Act 86, signed into law in July 2016, allows high school students “to apply up to one credit towards a math or science high school graduation credit requirement upon successful
completion of computer science or information technology coursework.”

In January 2018, the State Board of Education endorsed the Computer Science Teacher Association K–12 Standards as a statewide framework for offering computer science education to all public school students in the Commonwealth.

As more CS education infrastructure is put into place, it’s time for teachers in Pennsylvania to share ideas for effective K–12 CS learning.


Published December 03, 2018