ASMSA Coding Arkansas’ Future director receives international recognition

11 months ago

An Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts computer science instructor recently received a international teaching award.

Daniel Moix is the director of ASMSA’s Coding Arkansas’ Future initiative. Moix was one of 10 teachers internationally who received an Award for Teaching Excellence in Computer Science. The award was presented by Infosys Foundation USA, the Association for Computing Machinery and the Computer Science Teachers Association. Moix and the other receipients were recognized at the 2017 CSTA Annual Conference in Baltimore, Md., in July. The award was originally announced in December 2016.

Coding Arkansas’ Future provides Arkansas students and teachers opportunities to expand their computer science knowledge in a variety of settings. The initiative provides students across Arkansas the opportunity to take a computer science course through digital learning from ASMSA. It also provides cohorts of teachers professional development opportunities to learn how to teach computer science courses while receiving support from Moix and ASMSA.

 Moix, a member of ASMSA Class of 1998, helped establish the program in 2015 when he was hired as the school’s computer science education specialist. ASMSA developed the initiative after Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed Act 187 into law in February 2015 requiring all public and charter high schools in Arkansas to offer computer science education courses.

Moix also received the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 2016. While he was nominated for that award while teaching previously at Bryant High School, the Award for Teaching Excellence in Computer Science was strictly based on his work at ASMSA.

He said he was deeply honored to receive recognition from his peers and other professionals for his work in the computer science field.

“By recognizing and rewarding the work of computer science teachers, the sponsoring organizations are encouraging computer science teachers across the U.S. and are supporting them in opening new doors and opportunities for their students,” Moix said. “This award re-emphasizes the importance of providing all children access to the knowledge and skills they will need to thrive in the 21st century.

“The award not only recognizes ASMSA’s work educating students, but also the work we do to support professional development of new computer science teachers.”

Approximately half of the teachers who have earned certification to teach computer science classes in the state have received some sort of professional development in the Coding Arkansas’ Future initiative from Moix and ASMSA.

Moix has also led the efforts to introduce the Apps for Good program in the United States. He worked with the founder of the British program to launch it in Arkansas in 2016. The program encourages students to develop apps that can solve real-world problems, exploring the full product development cycle from concept to coding to launch. The second U.S. Apps for Good Festival was held earlier this year. More than 80 students from across Arkansas showcased their mobile apps at the festival held at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in April. Gov. Hutchinson addressed the group, and industry representatives tested the students’ prototypes.

Under Moix’s leadership, the initiative will continue to grow this year as it expands to middle schools across Arkansas. Another instructor is being dedicated to the initiative to teach and advise middle school teachers. Moix also received a grant from Google’s Computer Science for High School program to offer a learning-only experience for teachers. It includes a partnership with Arkansas State University in Jonesboro that will allow participating teachers to earn computer science college credit to be used toward their computer science qualification.


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