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|Doug Paulson Candidate Statement|
STATE DEPARTMENT REPRESENTATIVE
Computer Science is an essential component of a strong STEM education strategy. In Minnesota we have been focused on identifying opportunities to support opportunities for students from early childhood to post-secondary to engage in meaningful CS learning. As a part of my role as the state STEM specialist, I have been involved with supporting these initiatives. I am interested in being a board member for CSTA as the organization’s work have been informative for our work and I would like to give back to the organization as well as continue to advocate for systemic computer science opportunities across the country. My vision is to inspire interest in elementary school, make connections across the curriculum in middle school, and challenge and prepare students for career and college opportunities in high school.
WHAT EXPERIENCES AND/OR INTERESTS IN K-12 COMPUTER SCIENCE/INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION QUALIFY YOU TO SERVE AS A LEADER FOR THE ORGANIZATION?
Providing leadership for computer science has been critical for my work. I have provided professional development for elementary school teachers in pedagogy for computational thinking and worked with PLTW on the relationship between AP courses and the PLTW courses. To have a better understanding of this work last summer I designed and delivered a coding camp at the Hormel Gifted Symposium. Most recently I have worked to develop a contract with Mouse, Inc to provide IT certification curriculum for all Minnesota High Schools. I have also attended NSF meetings on computer science to inform Minnesota.
WHAT PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE WITH CSTA?
I have worked with the board of our state affiliate, Gopher State Computer Science Teachers Association.
WHAT LEADERSHIP SKILLS DO YOU HAVE THAT WOULD ENRICH THE BOARD AND THE ORGANIZATION?
I have a broad STEM perspective to provide to computer science. With so many responsibilities on schools and teachers agenda, strategic integration is essential. My background and perspective provides this skill. I have also worked to engage stakeholders from K-12, higher education, and industry to set goals and identify key indicators to measure progress. Finally, I have experiences on multiple boards of directors and held leadership positions to understand how to utilize the board to influence change within the organization and in the larger community.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES FOR K-12 COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION?Two of the most important issues for computer science is to define the discipline so it is uniformly understood by the larger education community and to identify its role in the system so all students can be engaged in CS. First when many in education think of computer science coding is the first thing that comes to mind. While coding is important, computer science is more than that and we need to communicate it clearly. Secondly, to be successful in implementing CS for all, more opportunities need to be identified as how it supports and is supported by other disciplines rather than supplanting each other.