CREATE to Collaborate with the Computer Science Teachers Association on a New U.S. Department of Education Grant

By Monica A. Sweet, Ph.D., CREATE Co-Director of Research and Evaluation

Over the past summer and in the midst of a pandemic, the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA; asked us to collaborate with them in writing for a new large-scale grant from the U.S. Department of Education. We agreed, and I’m happy to report that our project has been selected for funding!

Here is the official press release from the U.S. Department of Education.

We would like to congratulate the CSTA on their award for E_CSPD_Wk: Expanded Computer Science Professional Development Week, and we are looking forward to getting to work in earnest on this project over the coming year. 

E_CSPD_Wk will provide innovative and intensive professional development in Computer Science for ~2,100 K-12 teachers in South Carolina and Indiana over five years, and will impact approximately 52,000 students. As part of this project, both new and continuing Computer Science teachers will choose the type of professional development they experience and work collaboratively with other teachers as they implement what they’ve learned, and they will be compensated for participating.

It was important for CSTA to recruit from states that have a state-wide CS graduation requirement and near-term goals of developing state-wide PD for CS teachers, so this grant will not directly impact local San Diego area teachers–at least not in this go-round, although we hope this work will result in future possibilities for local teachers.

Because equity is a major motivator for us at CREATE (it’s the first ‘E’ in our acronym!), we’re happy that broadening participation of students and teachers will be a major focus of E_CSPD_Wk, as will increasing the number and quality of CS offerings in under-resourced, lower SES schools and districts. 

CREATE will conduct the research and evaluation aspects of the project, via a contract led by me (with CREATE’s Associate Director Susan Yonezawa as Co-PI). We’ll work over the five grant years to determine the ways in which the project impacts teachers and how that subsequently impacts student engagement and learning. We’re excited to get started and will be sure to share what we learn with all of you!