Blog Post


NETA’s Impact on an Aspiring Educator

Written by: Kyra Creamer

As an aspiring educator, I find high value in resources that foster development and learning. Reflecting back to 2017 during my high school years, I first competed in one of NETA’s contests, not knowing how much of an impact it would have on me as a future educator. The category of the contest I participated in was “Interactive media.” For this, I used a website called “Scratch” where I coded a three-level computer game that had obstacles you had to avoid throughout the game and a certain number of points you had to collect before moving on to the next level. My teacher submitted my entry to NETA, which resulted in a 1st place finish. As a freshman who was newly exposed to computer science and coding that year, this experience was exciting and it sparked an interest in the field of computer science for me. Since then, I have maintained an ongoing connection with NETA and its resources, and I recently just participated in another one of their contests now as a college student who is striving to be an educator.

I was fortunate enough to stumble across a social media post that NETA posted highlighting a contest for those who are educators (or future educators). When I saw this contest, I knew that it would be a perfect opportunity for me to showcase my lesson plans to other educators all across Nebraska. The main focus of this contest was to submit your best computer science lesson plan. There are so many benefits to computer science that can overall make you a better learner, such as critical thinking skills, creativity, and most importantly, in my opinion, problem-solving skills. For NETA’s contest this past fall, I created a computer science lesson plan targeting first graders that focused on addition problems using multiples of ten. In this lesson, students used Dash robots to find the sum of two numbers which prompted critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Students began by working collaboratively in small groups on a worksheet that focused on adding numbers ranging from 10-100, exclusively in multiples of 10. After filling out the worksheet together in their groups, students then used Dash to find out if their answers were correct. If the students did not have a correct answer, they used Dash to figure out what the correct answer should be.

If you want to hear more about the lesson plan I created, or possibly implement it in your own classroom, it can be accessed with this link:

After submitting my work, I was then contacted a week later from NETA where they informed me that I was one of the winners of the fall NETA contest. The prize for winning the contest was $500 towards computer science resources for my classroom. As someone who will be graduating in May and will start my first year of teaching in August, this was definitely exciting news and a perfect opportunity for me to get a head start on purchasing supplies for my future classroom, specifically computer science materials. What excites me the most about stepping into the teaching role is implementing the lesson plan that I created in my future classroom. With NETA’s support and resources from this contest, I am thrilled to one day take my lesson plan and see it live and in action. 

After having the opportunity to participate in both of the contests and being one of the winners, I am excited to see what else NETA has to offer as a soon-to-be educator. I am so glad that I was introduced to NETA because now it will be a resource that I can use for the rest of my teaching career. Their website offers valuable insight ranging anywhere from classroom strategies to building relationships. Some resources I have found to be beneficial when navigating NETA’s website are the NETAGo podcast, NETA blog, newsletters, webinars, and of course, social media. I highly recommend exploring these NETA resources for anyone seeking teaching guidance in the classroom or aiming to expand their knowledge of education. I can’t wait to share the amazing resources that NETA has with my colleagues and future coworkers once I step into the teaching role come August. NETA’s support and knowledge for educators are resources that deserve recognition, and I am excited to have the opportunity to share it with others.