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Coding for a Cause: Computer Science Addresses the 17 Sustainable Development Goals

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Participate and share : Interactive lecture

Michelle Ward  
Discover how to motivate students to use CS/computational thinking to address one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set forth by the UN. See how to make a connection with another teacher across the globe and begin a movement at your school involving Coding for a Cause.

Audience: Library media specialists, Teachers, Curriculum/district specialists
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: I have not completely decided on what I will be using, but it will probably be Slido, Kahoot, possibly Nearpod, Flipgrid. I may have links to Padlet or Wakelet. Hopefully, the session will also have collaborative technologies available for presenters.
Topic: Computer science & computational thinking
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Computer science, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Global Collaborator
  • Students explore local and global issues and use collaborative technologies to work with others to investigate solutions.
Computational Thinker
  • Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.
Innovative Designer
  • Students develop, test and refine prototypes as part of a cyclical design process.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

--Participants will learn how to motivate students to use Coding/Computer Science/Computer Programming/Computational Thinking Skills to address one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set forth by the United Nations
-- Participants will learn what the 17 SDGs are and why they are so important.
--Participants will learn how to make a connection with another teacher(s) across the globe through resources such as The Goals Project, Scratch Pals, Flipgrid Grid Pals, Microsoft Global Learning Connection, et cetera.
--Participants will learn how to begin a movement at their school that involves Coding for a Cause through numerous lesson plans and resources provided.
--Participants will be provided links to videos of student projects and how they address one of the specific SDGs.


I. Introduction (5 minutes)
II. Objectives/Takeaways (3 minutes)
III. My thoughts/ideas (5 minutes)
IV. Audience feedback through Slido/Nearpod/Flipgrid/Polls (3 minutes)
V. Introduction of the 17 SDGs (Video that explains what they are and why they are important) (2 minutes)
VI. Resources to learn more about the 17 SDGs (2 minutes)
VII. The Goals Project -- Summary and Overview(2 minutes)
VIII. Examples of Coding and the SDGs (Summaries and videos) (10 minutes)
IX. My BIG Ideas (3 minutes)
X. Coding for a Cause links/clubs (3 minutes)
XI. Discussion of Resources available (5 minutes)
XII. Discussion of Future Implications/Opportunities because of the COVID experience (5 minutes)
XIII. Closing Remarks/ Kahoot quiz/ Flipgrid feedback assignment (10 minutes)

Supporting research


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Michelle Ward, Lake Road Elementary School

I have been a Computer Science advocate in my school district for about 10 years. I began my love of Computer Programming in 1977 with the Magnavox Odyessy game console and the Intro to Programming cartridge (Assembly language). I dabbled with BASIC in high school. In college, I was introduced to COBOL, FORTRAN, PASCAL, and my arch-nemesis ADA. During the last 10 years, I have learned how to program in HTML, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, & CoffeeScript, and I have shared this passion with my students. I am pushing CS4ALL in my K-8th school & all schools in my district.

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