Challenge: Push Past Your Zone of Comfort During Computer Science Education Week

Leslie Aaronson
3 min readNov 27, 2017

Attention students, educators and computer science aficionados (no CS experience necessary)

Technolochica Ana Hernandez volunteering as a role model at 9 Dots in Los Angeles

CS Ed week is an opportunity to push past your zone of comfort and take on a challenge to become a change leader, a role model and expand your own CS skills!

CS Ed Week can be so much more than an opportunity to experience an Hour of Code. It is a time to remind yourself and others about the importance of computer science and the need for equity and access as this field becomes a driving force in almost every industry. Computer Science Education teaches marketable skills, it also teaches communication, collaboration, perseverance and the beauty of multiple solutions. To quote former CTO of the Obama White House, Megan Smith, computer science offers the opportunity to “build your creative confidence.”

As a teacher, I have used computer science week as an opportunity for my students to build their confidence and leadership skills by becoming coaches to parents and middle school students experiencing coding for the first time. We also explored new coding languages which led to a discovery of new avenues and curriculum in our advanced programming course. We used CS Ed week as a community activity that brought educators, students, business partners and government officials together to discuss computer science and showcase student work and voice.

Here are some action steps for you to take this CS Ed Week Challenge:

Be a Change Leader — increase your skills and leadership experience.

How: Work with your local elementary school, library, or community center to organize a CS Ed Week activity

Suggested Activities:

CS First Club lead by high school students for 5th grade girls

Become a Role Model and Inspire Others

As the saying goes, “We can’t be what we can’t see. So be seen! No one knows your story unless you make it available. Everyone struggles and everyone must start someplace. Share your journey about how you got started in computer science.

How to Start: Write a blog or shoot a vlog to share your experience. Post it on your digital portfolio, share it via social media, send it to your schools. Don’t wait to be asked.

Suggested places to sign up:

Expand your CS skills

Go to the CS Ed Week activities and try something you have not done before. This is not a test, but rather a chance to expand your creative confidence and your skills.

Bonus, when you create something new such as an image using Processing, a video card using Java Script, a new Google logo, save these projects and post them on your digital portfolio. This is an opportunity not only to try something new but also a chance to build out your portfolio of work samples and experience.

Continue after CS Ed Week:

Even though CS Ed Week is only one week in December, it is always a good time to be a change leader, a role model and to expand your skills. All of the activities suggested here can take place anytime. They can also lead to other initiatives. Look for hackathons, events, and contests to participate in and grow your skills and network.

Suggested Follow up Ideas:

Aspirations in Computing
Find local events on the Connectory
Get Started with Careers with Code



Leslie Aaronson

Advocate for College and Career Readiness. former LAUSD Teacher of the Year and HS Tech teacher in South LA.