The Arizona K-8 Consortium, a recently awarded NSF CS For All planning grant awarded to SciTech Institute, is expected to cultivate researcher practitioner partnerships (RPPs) around rural CS education in elementary schools. These partnerships’ work will focus on integrating computer science and computational thinking (CS/CT) into rural and tribal K-8 education in Northeastern, Northwestern, Central, Southern, and Eastern Arizona. Goals of the grant include building local capacity by supporting regional partnerships, professional development and a professional learning community for Computer Science and Computational Thinking Education. 

SciTech Institute, the Arizona Practitioner-Researcher Educational Partnership (AZ PREP) Office in the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University, and BootUp Professional Development (BootUp PD) will spend the next 18 months leveraging the Arizona STEM Ecosystem and RAIN collaboration to empower rural communities. At least sixteen RPPs will be organized to conduct landscape studies and analysis within the rural communities, establish resources and systems necessary to create a “think tank” to support rural educators implementing CS in their schools.