Category Archives: CE21 ComPASS

CE21 news, events, updates.

2014 Alice PD Workshop – Login and File Open/Save Instructions


Login to the Windows OS using the following username and password:

username: 279user
password: 279Lab@Sdsc

When you have successfully logged in you should see an Alice 2.4 folder on the desktop. Double-click it to open it and double-click the Alice.exe icon to run Alice.

To open files, navigate to “279user on Vault”>>Alice2.4>>Required>>textbookexampleworlds.

To save your own files, navigate to “279user on Vault”>>Alice2.4>>Required>>workshop_files. Create a folder with your name. Save your files there.

To save files to a flash drive while in the VM

Locate the black bar along the top of the VM window. Click the link to open the USB connection.


ComPASS Team Develops New Online Curriculum to teach Alice

New Online Curriculum

The ComPASS team of developers are in the process of creating an online curriculum for Alice based on Dr. Beth Simon’s own CSE3 course curriculum used at UCSD’s Sixth College. This new version will use Google Sites. There will be a version for teachers and a separate version for students. We hope to have the lessons completed in time for the start of winter quarter, 2013.

Explore the Student Version.

SDSC Hosts Raspberry Pi Educational Demonstration

SDSC hosted a box lunch to try out and learn about the $25 Raspberry Pi computer in December, 2012.

The event was put on by New Blankets, and paying attendees received a Raspberry Pi kit (board, power supply, 8GB SD card), a box lunch, plus a little help to build a technology lending library. The demos covered the hardware, using Pure Data for audio processing, and whatever other cool demos we think of.

The Raspberry Pi is an ARM-based computer with 512MB of RAM, ports for audio, RCA video, USB, HDMI, and Ethernet, an SD card slot (used for the OS), and powered by 5V from a micro USB connection. Several Linux distributions are available, including Debian and QtonPi, which is designed for embedded development.

The Pi has tremendous potential as a teaching technology because of its affordability and small size. Some applications such as Alice will not currently run on the Pi until the amount of on-board memory is increased to at least 1 Gb. We can’t wait!!

2013 Alice Symposium details announced

The Third Alice Symposium will be held on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at Duke University in Durham, NC. There will be two-day Alice workshops (Alice 2.3 and Alice 3.1) and related workshops both before and after the Symposium on June 17-18 and June 20-21, 2013.

Some of our ComPASS cohort may be interested in attending or sharing with colleagues. There will be some stipends for room and board.

Alice Safe Online Surfing Contest

(from the Alice-Teachers listserv)

To all Alice educators using Alice 2.2 with middle school or high school students.

This is a call for Alice teachers to participate in a test of the new FBI Safe Online Surfing (SOS) Alice Challenge website. Participation must occur sometime before April 30.

Participating teachers (and their students) will prepare an Alice animation that emphasizes how to be safe online. Student animations will be submitted to the Alice Challenge by uploading the Alice world and a video of the animation running. Participating students will receive a certificate from the FBI. The Alice Project will provide Alice T-shirt awards to the winning students.

The FBI has reorganized its Safe Online Surfing project with a new web site and a new Alice Challenge. The site has two parts: A game that will act as a learning tool and an Alice Challenge. Although the game part of the site is still under construction, the Alice Challenge is ready for a test run.

If you are interested in participating in this test run, please reply directly to:

Those who indicate an interest in participating in the test run of the Alice Challenge will receive an email with further information.

Wanda Dann
Director, Alice Project
Carnegie Mellon University

ComPASS Winter Quarter Course Begins

Title: ComPASS Winter Quarter Course Begins
Location: UCSD
Link out: Click here
Description: Dr. Beth Simon begins teaching her CSE3 CS Principles course again this winter quarter at UCSD.
Date: 2012-01-11

Computer Science Teacher's Association

CE21 is working closely with local and regional representatives of the Computer Science Teacher’s Association. Joe Pistone, chair of the San Diego chapter of CSTA, is an active participant and collaborator with CE21. Learn more about the San Diego CSTA chapter.

We encourage those interested in learning more about computer science education to join the CSTA. Visit the CSTA web site to learn more.

SDSC TeacherTECH Program Delivers ComPASS CS Principles Curriculum

High School Educators are invited to attend a special seven-part TeacherTECH workshop series focused on AP Computer Science Principles. Be on the cutting edge and learn the skills you need to engage your students in computing as you bring computer science principles into your classroom.

Workshops will be held Wednesdays, April 11, 18, 25,  May 2, 9, 16, 23, 2012 4:30pm- 6:30pm at the San Diego County Office of Education.

Learning Labs 3 &4 (203)
Joe Rindone Regional Technology Center
6401 Lind Visit Road
San Diego, CA 92111
Course Description

Nationwide, the CS10K movement seeks toincrease the technology preparedness of all high school students, and engage more students in an interesting, relevant, and rigorous computing course, which will both prepare them for college in any major and give them an idea of how fun, exciting, and relevant studying computing can be.

The proposed AP CS Principles course has been designed to meet these needs and in 2010-2011 was piloted with 1,000 students at UCSD and at 4 other universities.  We have grant funding to support San Diego area high schools in developing teachers of all disciplines to teach this course.  Prior experience teaching computing or programming is not a requirement, though it’s certainly fine.  We are seeking to train teachers who can teach this course at their school this fall or the following year – and we can work with your principal to figure out the scheduling. Already, we have support from San Diego Unified and Sweetwater Union to help teachers teach this course, even if it isn’t in the upcoming master schedule.

You should take this 7-week TeacherTECH series if you want to teach the course next year.

How much work will it be?  That depends on your computing background.  If you teaching programming courses like C, Java, Python, then you may not need to spend more than 30 minutes per week beyond class time.  If you have never programmed before, you will need to “do homework” to prepare between each class, which is estimated at a few hours.  The meetings will model the actual design used in the course – it is based in active learning and supported by initial pre-class preparation.

Those completing the course will be eligible both to attend the summer pedagogical content knowledge training week, to “guest teach” in a summer program for high school students, and to apply to be a sponsored pilot teacher next year.  Pilot teachers receive a stipend, textbooks, clickers, and UCSD-tutor support for their classrooms.

Course Outline

Session 1:  Welcomes and getting to know you.  Overview of learning goals of the course. Introduction to Alice on the computer – setting up worlds, DoTogether and DoInOrder control structures, how to engage with peer instruction questions.

Session 2: Methods and Parameters.  How to use methods to organize and abstract complex programs, how to use parameters to make methods more flexible and useful.

Session 3: Events.  How to make programs interactive (ala video games).  Reprise of methods and parameters as needed.  Introduction to Technology and Society assignments (explorations and written reflections by students).

Session 4: If statements.  How to support programs that sometimes do one thing and sometimes do another.  If statements are used in website signup pages to check if your passwords are the same.   They are also used in ATM machines – the bank won’t let you withdraw money from an account with insufficient funds.

Session 5: Loops.  How to gain power over the computer by getting it to do things repeatedly.  Loops which repeat until a specific condition is true (You earn 100 points) or a specific number of times (3 chances to win in Angry Birds).

Session 6: Lists in Alice and Excel.  How computers organize data to enable us to write programs manipulating large amounts of data.  Connections between Alice concepts and functions and capabilities in Excel.

Session 7: Alice project, review of course components, discussion of concerns, review of sample exams.

Note: Each week will involve both hands-on time at the computer and “peer instruction” based lecture – where participants develop their understanding through engagement with a set of questions and through discussion with each other.  Preparation before session will be required to the extent that it is needed to allow one to engage during the class session.

Please join us for seven exciting and informative sessions of hands-on learning presented by Beth Simon, Director, Center for Teaching Development, UCSD
Registration is free. Space is limited. Please contact Ange Mason at 858-534-5064 or to reserve your space. If responding by email, please indicate your school affiliation.

CE21 2012 PI Community Meeting in DC

The CE21 PI and Community Meeting will take place at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel, in Washington, District of Columbia on February 2-3, 2012.
Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel
999 Ninth Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 898-9000

Online reservations
Phone reservations: (888) 236-2427, reference “CE21”
Note: Reimbursement will be provided for two nights of hotel stay: Feb. 1 and Feb. 2, 2012. Additional nights must receive prior approval or will not be reimbursed.


There are three airport options when flying into Washington, DC. The hotel does not provide shuttle service from any airport.

  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport – DCA
    Transportation Options to the Hotel
    Subway: $2.50 one way fare, take the Yellow line to Gallery Place/Chinatown
    Taxi: $20 estimated one way fare
  • Washington Dulles International Airport – IAD
    Transportation Options to the Hotel
    Bus, Subway: $9 one way fare, take the 5A bus towards L’Enfant Plaza, then the Blue subway line to Largo Town Center
    Taxi: $75 estimated one way fare to the hotel
  • Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport – BWI
    Transportation Options to the Hotel
    Bus, Subway: $10 one way fare, take the B30 bus towards Greenbelt Station, then the Green subway line to Mt. Vernon Square
    Taxi: $75 estimated one way fare to the hotel

If you are traveling to the CE21 event from an international point of origin, please be sure that when you enter the US, the Customs Agent uses the “Business Travel” stamp on your passport, not the “Visitors/Tourist Stamp.”

  • If you are traveling from a Visa-Waiver country, you will need to get a WB stamp.
  • If you are traveling from a non-Visa-waiter country, please get a B-1 stamp.
  • Tell the entry officer that you are attending a conference for business. Please stress that you are in the country for business purposes, not for work or vacation.

Reimbursements for international travel may be taxable depending on your level of participation. Please contact Rebecca Rowley at (303) 735-6671 for more information.

For more information on how to plan your trip or what to see in DC, visit