- Find a champion who is passionate about computer science and equity issues and is looking for opportunities to partner and amplify these issues. Provide data, statistics, and relevant research to the champion as well as take every opportunity to share your passion and tell your stories about CS - your personal 'why.' More often than not, I've found that sharing my personal 'why' resonates with others on so many levels.
- Partner across sectors to ensure a balanced representation including industry, non-profit, Computer Science Teachers Association's (CSTA)local chapter, schools, districts, educators, and legislative and senate staff. Every stakeholder is needed. In our case, Microsoft provided the laptops we used, staff took care of ordering lunch and reserving the space, partners took care of inviting senators, Code.org facilitated conference calls among primary participants to ensure ongoing planning conversations, and educators handled recruiting and transporting students as well as getting parent permission. CSTA and other partners from CSforAZ task-force were on-hand to facilitate conversations and support the actual event.
- Provide background on the event to the students. Run through the schedule with them step-by-step, provide them with the link to the coding activity prior to the event and ensure that they have all completed them and are comfortable with them. Also, talk with them about how to greet the senators, say hello, shake hands, introduce themselves. Along with this, it's also helpful to role-play pair-programming with the students to ensure that they provide the senators with the opportunity to 'drive' while they 'navigate' through some of the activities. This helps to ensure that the senators actually get time to be in the driver's seat and experience the joy that comes with creating using code.
Working toward CS for all is a tremendous undertaking and my biggest takeaway of all? It truly takes all of us working together.