CSTA 2019 Preconference

# COMMENTS

It's Monday morning, 7:45AM local time. Being on East Coast time, Devorah and I have already been up for about 3 hours, hit the gym and our first cups of our chosen caffeinated beverages.

Since it's not unbearably hot outside - a cool and dry 80 in the shade - we're sitting outside. Devorah's knitting another square for Blanket Statement so I figured I'd write a few words about what we've been doing here in Phoenix leading up to our starting with our conference later today.

Whenever we travel for "business" I'll try to tack on a day or so to try to soak up at least a little local flavor and there's plenty of local flavor in Phoenix.

After checking in to the hotel we hit the Pueblo Grande museum. It's a pre-columbian archaeological site. You can learn about the Hohokam who used to live - see a bit how they lived and the intricate canal systems they created. The outside path that toured the ruins was about a half mile walk in the 105 degree hot sun but it was worth it. Inside there were galleries with a few exhibits and a lot of neat history. Well worth the visit. We also walked around Heritage Square which had some original Victorian buildings but I wasn't really super impressed - probably had something to do with having by that time been out in the heat for most of the afternoon.

Yesterday, it was up bright and early to check out the Desert Botanical Garden. Wow - this is a must see.


Did I mention it was really hot out?

When we started at 7:00am it wasn't so bad out - about 85 and only a touch humid but after a couple of hours we needed some AC. We originally wanted to hike over to the Hole in the Rock but were by that time leery of the heat so we took a Lyft back into town for some breakfast. We chose a place but as we approached there was a long line outside. Our driver said "I know a much better place" turned off the meter, and took us to HobNobs. It was the right choice. Service was a bit slow but good food in a comfortable environment.

We weren't sure what to do next when I noticed Sarah Judd tweed that the Museum of Musical Instruments was free for teachers. It's about 30 minutes out of the downtown but we took the trip. I was a little irked that the web site said that "educators" were free during the month of July but they didn't accept my Hunter ID as a teacher. They were limiting the free admission to K12 teachers. Still, the museum was terrific. Gotta love a place that doesn't take themselves too seriously:

air guitar

air guitar


Exhibits on instruments and musicians. If it weren't at the end of a long touring day I think we could have spent another hour or two there.

We ended up getting a locally made menorah for Natan before we left:

Yesterday concluded at the GitHub for Education reception where I had a great conversation with Nick Stoyas about his efforts in Chicago to scale out their CS programs and thoughts on internship opportunities for high school students. I hope to write more on that later.

In about 45 minutes we'll head out to The Heard Museum which is all about Native American art and culture.

That should bring us to lunch today and then conference time!!!

If you're reading this and at the CSTA2019 - hope you also get or got to see some sites and swing by the Github booth to say hi. If not, if you have a chance to get out to Phoenix, preferably in the cooler months, I would certainly recommend it.