Computer Science - Fundamental Approach to Standards Training

Mission: To improve computer science education in Colorado


CS-FAST is a curriculum developed specifically for Colorado elementary school teachers that offers a Fundamental Approach to Standards Training (FAST). This 1-day elementary school teacher training is being offered for free by Colorado School of Mines, thanks to a collaboration with the Colorado Department of Education (CDE). Participating teachers also have the opportunity to receive a stipend (up to $250) from CDE. The Mines CS-FAST workshop focuses on:

(1) Learning and applying Computational Thinking.

(2) Introducing the Computer Science Teaching Association standards for each grade level.

(3) Providing experience in coding.

Computational Thinking embodies the process of solving a computational problem: from breaking down the problem into a way that can be solved efficiently with a computational system, to creating an effective decision from the results. To apply Computational Thinking is to think like a computer scientist.


* Learn how to incorporate engaging computer science activities into your classroom with and without a computer.

* Prepare your students to better solve computational problems.

* Understand the computer science standards suggested nationwide for your grade level.

* Recognize ways to implement CSTA and math/science standards simultaneously.

At the end of the workshop, teachers will have 4+ activities (mapped to standards) that they can deploy directly in their classroom (with confidence) for 5+ hours of computational fun for their students. CS@Mines students are also available to support teachers as they deploy these activities in the classroom!

See the agenda for more details.


Anyone awarded funding by the Colorado Department of Education for CS-FAST should have received a registration link to register for one of the workshop dates below. If you were awarded funding and do not have this link, contact Tracy Camp at tcamp@mines.edu


Grade Level Details

Activities will be separated by grade level. Click the grade level below to see a sample lesson.

Each activity is targeted towards one of the grade levels above. Teachers will be grouped by grade level, giving participants a chance to connect to other teachers and work through lessons they can use in their classrooms.


The CS-FAST workshop introduces sevaral educational standards for teaching computer science. These are adapted from the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA). Each lesson has targeted standards that the students will learn via the activities.

CS Unplugged

CS Unplugged uses activities, games, magic tricks, and competitions to show children the kind of thinking expected of a computer scientist. CS Unplugged has been taken into multiple school districts around the world. Recent research has shown that teachers often feel more confident doing CS Unplugged activities with their students than coding activities.


Towards the end of the workshop is an introductory programming segment using Bitsbox. Bitsbox is a fun and educational way for kids to learn programming; a brief introduction to Bitsbox will be provided.

  • K-2nd grade: hour of code that helps students understand the relationship between numbers and quantities.
  • 3rd-4th grade: hour of code allowing students to explore the diversity of life.
  • 5th-6th grade: hour of code that investigates fractions and multiplication.

Locations/Dates of Trainings (9am-5pm):

Denver Metro

March 30th, April 6th, April 27th

May 4th, June 3rd, June 21st, June 28th         

Colorado Springs

April 13th, May 11th, June 4th

Fort Collins

April 20th, June 6th


June 17th


June 18th


June 19th


May 18th


June 10th


June 11th

Steamboat Springs

June 13th


June 24th


June 25th


June 26th

The Denver Metro location is at the Colorado School of Mines

The Colorado Springs location is at Colorado College

The Durango location is at Fort Lewis College

We thank our hosts above for allowing us to use their space for no cost!

The Steamboat location is at Colorado Mountain College Steamboat

The Dillon location is at Colorado Mountain College Dillon

We thanks our Colorado Mountain College hosts for an extremely discounted price to use their space!