Who is Tammy Pirmann?
I am the K-12 Coordinator of Computer Science and Business at the Schoool District of Springfield Township and the high school teacher for computer science. I have developed and teach quite a few classes:
- Quest 9: Future Studies (robotics, CS, and Sci Fi)
- Computer Science with Mobile Apps (A Computer Science Principles course [CS meets Social Studies, building Cell Phone Apps])
- Intro to Computer Science (mostly 9th/10th graders trying to meet their CS grad requirement quickly)
- Game Design (not programming)
- Intro to Computer Science with Robotics (VEX, Finch, Nao)
- Exploring Engineering
- AP Computer Science A (Java)
- Senior Thesis in Computer Science (individual topic, project-based, capstone)
Computer Science Teachers Association has been an important part of my professional development for the past 10 years. I am currently serving on the CSTA board as the District Representitive. As a board member, I am the chair of the Membership Committee and the Certification Committee. I also serve on the Curriculum Committee. In the past I have been the chair of the Research Committee. I have been a leader in the Philadelphia chapter for many years, six as president and two as vice president. I am now the Treasurer.
Computer Science Education is not in a great place in our country or state. I have been an active advocate for computer science to become part of the core for several years. A group of CSTA Philly members including University representation have been to Harrisburg to discuss what PA can do to move toward including Computer Science and having an appropriate certification path for Computer Science teachers. We're on hold until we have a new Governor. When "Running on Empty: The Failure to Teach K-12 Computer Science in the Digital Age" was released, I was on a panel in Washington, D.C. to provide the 'on the front line' perspective. I continue to advocate for CS education in PA and the US.
The Strategic Game Club at Springfield is a student organization that I started at the request of our principal (then Joe Roy) to come up with an after school activity that anyone could participate in. Not all students are athletic or musically inclined, however, he had read some studies that showed that students who are involved in even one extra-curricular are less likely to have a discipline entry and more likely to be academically successful. We get together once a week for two hours after school to play non-electronic games. This year some of the popular games students are playing include: Magic the Gathering, Dominion, Bananagrams, Apples to Apples, Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, and other EuroGames. We also play chess, and the best chess players at Springfield are on the Chess Team. We compete in the Lower Bucks County Scholastic Chess League. We raise money for the game club by wrapping holiday gifts for donations in December. We have one charity fundraiser - we raise money for CHOP, specifically to provide game systems, games, etc for the children who are living in the hopsital or going daily for chemo treatments. Last year we raised $2100!
If game design classes and a game club did not clue you in, I am a gamer. I play console, PC, card, board, and role playing games. I am currently running a D&D campaign for a multi-generational group. When I can, I play in an online D&D game with a friend on the west coast. I am also playing a superhero in a game based loosely on the Aberrant world.