Focus Area

Computer Science & STEM

Resources, professional learning, and support for fostering robust computer science and STEM programs and knowledgeable educators.

Building and supporting CS & STEM educators and innovative programs

Through our partnerships and connections to computer science (CS) educators across the state, we strive to make integrating CS and STEM learning and achieving standards-based compliance an empowering experience for all educators and school districts.

The Illinois State Board of Education defines computer science as the study of computers and algorithms, including their principles, hardware and software designs, implementation, and impact on society. Computer science does not include the study of everyday uses of computers and computer applications, such as keyboarding or accessing the internet. Notably, this is different from computer literacy, “one’s knowledge of and ability to use computers and related technologies efficiently and effectively. More specifically, [it] includes knowing what constitutes a computer, the uses and applications for computers, and the impact of computers on society.”

Related services, resources, events, and articles.

Services
Resources
Events
Articles
Professional Learning

Code.org District Program

Year-Long
Variable

Professional learning programs for current and future computer science educators through the LTC’s Code.org Partnership.

Professional Learning

Code.org Workshops & Cohorts

Year-Long
Variable

Professional learning programs for current and future computer science educators through the LTC’s Code.org Partnership.

Database

Computer Science Resource Database

Vetted computer science resources geared toward a variety of grade levels, content areas, and use cases.

Professional Learning

CS PD Week

Summer
Varies

The LTC’s CS PD Week is a 5-day PD opportunity for new and experience computer science educators and administrators.

Professional Learning

Custom PD for Districts and Schools

Customizable

Customized edtech professional learning to meet the needs of districts and schools.

Database

Esport Directory

A database of K12 esport teams in Illinois.

Professional Learning

IETC Conference

November
$175+

The Illinois Education and Technology Conference, held annually in Springfield, brings together educators and tech experts to explore innovative teaching methods and leverage technology for enhanced learning statewide.

Service

ILTPP Purchasing Cooperative

Free

Save money and time through ILTPP cooperative purchasing contracts.

Database

Legal Reference Guide & Database

An introduction to the statutes, regulations, and rules that may apply to the use of technology in a school district.

Professional Learning

Regional Workshops and Events

Variable

Over 650 regional events and conferences on educational technology topics.

Professional Learning

Webinars

Free

Register for our regular webinar series and view recordings.

Curriculum & Lesson Plans

CMU CS Academy

CMU CS Academy is an online, graphics-based computer science curriculum taught in Python provided by Carnegie Mellon University for FREE.

Resource Collections

Amazon Future Engineer

Amazon Future Engineer is a comprehensive childhood-to-career program aimed at increasing access to computer science education for students from underserved and underrepresented communities.

Curriculum & Lesson Plans

Scratch Encore

Scratch-based CS instructional materials for upper elementary students through a process that attends to practical barriers to equity.

Resource Collections

Pencil Code

Learn professional programming languages using an editor that lets you work in either blocks or text. Create art, music, games, and stories. Or invent a program that will change the world.

Resource Collections

AIEdu

aiEDU is a non-profit that creates equitable learning experiences that build foundational AI literacy. Whether you have nine weeks or just five minutes, we have an engaging, free curriculum that’s easy to use.

Resource Collections

AI4K12

The initiative is developing (1) national guidelines for AI education for K-12, (2) an online, curated resource Directory to facilitate AI instruction, and (3) a community of practitioners, researchers, resource and tool developers focused on the AI for K-12 audience. Check out the following information to learn about this initiative.

Resource Collections

Cyber.org

Free K–12 cybersecurity lessons and resources

Resource Collections

Haiku

Haiku is a role play- game that teachers students skills needed for cybersecurity. Our platform has pre-designed “missions” that teach things like Linux, Intro. to Cybersecurity and Intro. to Networking. Our platform tool, Forge, allows you to build drag and drop learning pathways. Our platform takes your pathway and creates and entire story, roles and mission around your objectives. We also provide mission development as a service to customers.

Resource Collections

Common Sense Media

Free K–12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum and other resources to support digital literacy and cybersecurity

Curriculum & Lesson Plans

MakeCode Arcade

Web-based block or JavaScript coding platform to design retro-style games

Curriculum & Lesson Plans

MakeCode for Circuit Playground Express

Web-based block or JavaScript coding platform for Circuit Playground microprocessor

Curriculum & Lesson Plans

MakeCode for micro:bit

Web-based block or JavaScript coding platform for micro:bit microprocessor

Checklist

Esports Program Checklist

Empower Your New Esports Team at your School with Our Comprehensive Checklist! Unveil the potential of your budding esports squad using this all-inclusive checklist. From recruitment and practice schedules to team branding, our checklist ensures you cover all the bases for a successful and thrilling esports journey in your school.

Resource Collections

STEM Grants & Scholarships

Compiled by the LTC staff, this resource includes a collection of state and national grants and scholarships specifically geared toward support K-12 STEM programs.

Best Practices Guidance

The Basics of 3D Printing (Infographic)

What does it take to bring 3D printing to your classroom? This infographic will show you where to start, beginning with 3D printing process basics, workspace strategies, and example curriculum integration activities.

Resource Collections

3D Printing Resources

Technology Integration is fundamental for an effective digital learning experience, here’s an Infographic with 8 digital skills every teacher needs to know along side with the best programs to support them!

Guidance

Illinois Computer Literacy Guidelines Planning Document

This document is an adaptation of ISBE’s Computer Literacy guidelines, with added columns for resources and notes. It includes breakouts by grade band (K-1, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12).

Standards

IL CS Mastery Worksheet

This document is similar to the Alignment Worksheet, but can be used at the classroom level to align the standards to individual lessons or units of instruction. It includes a customizable 3-level scale to show a progression of standard mastery across the unit or course.

3D Printing FUNdamentals – Hands-On

Apr 18, 2024
Free

Join us for an informative, hands-on session where we’ll explore the basics of 3D printers and 3D printing. During this 6-hour workshop, we’ll dive deep into the fundamentals of 3D printing, including the software needed for successful printing, the best printer models for education, best practices for planning a 3D printing space, and some curriculum integration essentials. 3D printing has SO many real-world, practical applications and can be easily integrated at any grade level and across the curriculum. Come see how with one of Illinois’ educational 3D printing experts!

Joe Cipfl
Joe Cipfl
Regional Educational Technology Coordinator | Southern Region, Learning Technology Center

Metcalf STEAM Field Trip

Apr 23, 2024
Free

Join your fellow educators as we tour Metcalf Elementary and Middle School’s makerspace classrooms and hear from its staff on the many ways hands-on STEM learning can be enhanced through maker-focused projects.

Kristi Sutter
Kristi Sutter
,

3D Printing for Educators

Apr 24, 2024
40

Whether you’re thinking of buying your first printer, or you have a few that are not being used to their full potential, this workshop will give you the foundation needed to implement 3D printing in your educational environment.

Eric Santos
Eric Santos
Regional Educational Technology Coordinator | Chicagoland, Learning Technology Center

The Makerspace Starter Kit

Apr 25, 2024
40

Are you ready to get a makerspace or going at your school, but not quite sure where to start? Maybe you have a space already, but it’s due for a makeover. There are so many options out there, and technology is constantly changing. Where do you start?

Eric Santos
Eric Santos
Regional Educational Technology Coordinator | Chicagoland, Learning Technology Center

Career Spark – STEAM Expo

Apr 25, 2024
Free

CareerSpark is a hands-on, interactive work and career readiness experience designed to spark students’ interest in the exciting careers in the STEAM field. Join us as an exhibitor for an exciting event tailored for 8th-grade students, where the world of Science, Engineering, Technology, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) comes to life!

Lisa Schwartz
Lisa Schwartz
Regional Educational Technology Coordinator | West Central Region, Learning Technology Center
Mindy Fiscus
Mindy Fiscus
Director of Government Affairs, Learning Technology Center
Sarah Phelps
Sarah Phelps
Program Manager, Computer Science and STEM, Learning Technology Center

CS & STEM Networking Meeting

May 1, 2024
Free

Calling all K-12 computer science and STEM educators! Join your peers from across the state each month for an informative, engagement-rich networking meeting centered on topics that matter most to you.

Sarah Phelps
Sarah Phelps
Program Manager, Computer Science and STEM, Learning Technology Center

Power Sustainable Learning with Coding + Climate

May 2, 2024
Free

Join us to learn how you can broaden your micro: bit’s potential, explore cross-curricular opportunities, and provide an exceptional learning experience to tomorrow’s STEM and environmental leaders.

Holly Kelly
Holly Kelly
Regional Educational Technology Coordinator | East Central Illinois, Learning Technology Center

Unpacking the New Illinois Computer Science Standards

Jun 5, 2024
Free

Join us for this workshop, where we’ll open up the new K-12 Computer Science learning standards and break them into digestible and actionable segments.

Lisa Schwartz
Lisa Schwartz
Regional Educational Technology Coordinator | West Central Region, Learning Technology Center

Bring 3D Printing into your Classrooms

Jun 6, 2024
170

Innovative problem solvers are using 3D printing in every industry, from medicine to construction to space exploration. Teach your students to design for the future by adding 3D printing to your curriculum!

Ben Sondgeroth
Ben Sondgeroth
Lead Regional Educational Technology Coordinator | Northern Illinois, Learning Technology Center
Computer Science (CS)

CS PD Week 2024

Jul 8, 2024
400 – 1200

Join fellow K-12 CS educators for a 5-day learning experience centered on building prosperous computer science programs in every Illinois school district.

Sarah Phelps
Sarah Phelps
Program Manager, Computer Science and STEM, Learning Technology Center

Coding Across the Curriculum with LEGO®: Elementary and Early Learning

Sep 26, 2024
Free

Join us for an interactive session focused on LEGO Education Learning System, including how it can bring computer science learning to life in your classroom.

Dr. Colleen Cannon-Ruffo
Dr. Colleen Cannon-Ruffo
Solution Architect , LEGO Education

Coding Across the Curriculum with LEGO® for Middle School and Beyond

Sep 26, 2024
Free

Join us for an interactive session focused on LEGO Education Learning System, including how it can bring computer science learning to life in your classroom. Through this system, students learn to work collaboratively and solve problems creatively – all while “playing” with a familiar set of tools that are easy to manage. Each session will also discuss connections to careers so you will have an innovative way to address career readiness within your districts.

Dr. Colleen Cannon-Ruffo
Dr. Colleen Cannon-Ruffo
Solution Architect , LEGO Education

Illinois Education and Technology Conference 2024 (IETC)

Nov 13, 2024
325

Learn, collaborate, and connect with fellow edtech enthusiasts and leaders during a multi-day professional learning experience ideal for collaborating one-on-one with peers and forging meaningful connections.

Tim McIlvain
Tim McIlvain
Executive Director, Learning Technology Center
STEM

9 Teaching Resources for Illuminating the 2024 Eclipse

The upcoming eclipse will be an unforgettable experience. Transform it into a learning opportunity and spark a lasting STEM passion with these resource curated by the LTC team.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI & Digital Citizenship with Mike Ribble

This month, we’re welcoming Dr. Mike Ribble to discuss the role of digital citizenship and digital literacy as we all come to grips with artificial intelligence, both in society and in the classroom.

STEM

Building STEAM with Dr. Kristen Brynteson

For our inaugural episode, we’re welcoming Dr. Kristen Brynteson from NIU to discuss her university’s STEAM Program. Later, Sarah Phelps highlights LTC resources for sparking STEM learning year-round.

Computer Science Professional Learning

Code.org Regional Partnership

Through our Code.org partnership, Illinois educators can obtain high-quality CS professional development and curricular resources – often for little-to-no cost. You can also develop the expertise needed make CS learning accessible at any grade level using their ever-growing library of projects and teaching tools.

More than two million teachers have brought CS learning to their classroom through Code.org. Learn more about how Code.org can help you and your district grow CS teaching capacity starting today.