Programming and Programming

In an attempt to create a resource of useful information, I will be working on monthly “blog” posts about topics that through some means have come my way.  I am not claiming to be an expert in any particular field, however, I would love if these posts became a start to a conversation.  One of the most powerful things about this organization’s members is the diversity of their expertise.  I am graciously looking for topics for these posts.  Please send requests to

Now that I have addressed the programming aspect of this post, I will continue on to the main content:  programming.  I have taught some aspect of programming in my webpage design, Principles of Engineering, Computer Integrated Manufacturing classes and my after school VEX robotics team.  Depending on the application or interest there are many resources that are either stand alone or supportive of programming instruction.  This month I wanted to share some of the ones I have found useful.

Fist off, I wanted to highlight an event that is incredibly relevant to this particular article:  Hour of Code.  December 8 – December 14 is computer science education week.  This site, although promoting heavily during this upcoming week, is available all year and features many resources instructing basic programming as well as introducing common languages such as Javascript and Python.  These resources are available at’s website.

Another resource that I have enjoyed using for webpage design as well as a challenge for students is Codecademy.  This website features self-guided tutorials that instruct then check student progress.  This website offers tutorials in html, CSS, javascript, jQuery, Pythong, Ruby, and PHP.  For me, the site is primarily useful as a tool to get students started on a path to webpage/app development.

Finally, I wanted to discuss programming for the VEX robotics.  The text-based method my students use to  program the VEX robots is RobotC.  RobotC is very close to javascript and when using RobotC’s language editor it has a very useful debugging feature.  The debugging feature in RobotC helps not only to debug the student-written program but also helps debug the VEX cortexes.  Recently, RobotC has introduced a Graphical Natural Language.  The Graphical Natural Language features a drag-and-drop programming method that is more visible than the terminal-eque RobotC.  Although I do like students to understand the full details of writing code, the fastest and easiest to use code-authoring software is EasyC.  This is very useful for VEX competitions when quick edits or complete reprogramming may be necessary.



Posted in Vice President's Corner

CNY STEM HUB Career Exploration Series

CNYTEEA is excited to promote the CNY STEM HUB Career Exploration Series! The next event is this Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 at 6:30 PM at ESM High School.

Check out the details below or view the full publication here.


Posted in CNYTEEA Updates

2014 Fall Conference Reflection & Notes

Good Evening!

The 75th SUNY Oswego Fall Conference is now in the books! What a wonderful event. The conference was well attended and there was a lot of buzz in the building with all the new building/labs/materials that the Oswego Technology Education program has to offer. It is wonderful to reconnect with people in the field and make new connections.

CNYTEEA had the opportunity to present at the Fall Conference. The presentation ended up being a great discussion about where we have come from and what we can do in the future. Thank you to the people who attended our presentation. Below is a copy of the presentation description, slideshow, and notes.

Thank you to SUNY Oswego and the Technology Education Department for allowing us to participate. What a great event!

Matt Starke
CNYTEEA President

CNYTEEA: Past, Present & Future

Description: What is the Central New York Technology & Engineering Educators’ Association (CNYTEEA)? While we are all under the same roof at the Fall Conference, let’s take some time to discuss what has made CNYTEEA such a great organization and what we can do to make it better in the future. CNYTEEA plans to collectively formulate an agenda for the year based on everyone’s input.

2014 Fall Conference Presentation

Presentation Notes

  • Visibility of our profession
    • Most important for Technology Education
    • We are great as what we do, but we need to advertise it
  • Leadership
    • Need good leadership to survive
    • “Many hands make light work”
  • School Visit Ideas
    • Need a variety of schools
    • Rural, Suburb, and City schools
    • Variety of departments and classes offered
  • Industry Visit Ideas
    • Get connected with SME & TACNY – Already have great tours set up. Work together for a common goal
    • The Post Standard has a good tour
    • Majestic Mold & Tool (Phoenix, NY) has a good tour
    • Rotation of tours with a wide variety of applications
    • Certificate of Participation should be given out to CNYTEEA Members for professional development evidence
  • Technology & Engineering Education Week
    • New idea from NYSTEEA
    • A great opportunity for all of us to promote what we are all doing at the same time
    • Preliminary week is sometime in March
    • More information will be coming later
  • Shopping Mall Showcase
    • An event that CNYTEEA has done in the past with success. It may be a good idea to bring back.
    • Overall goal to promote Technology & Engineering Education
    • CNYTEEA would “rent” out space in a shopping mall
    • Could be done during the new NYSTEEA Technology & Engineering Education Week
    • Every school that wanted to participate would be given a booth to promote their program
    • Booths could be “Bring It & Show It” presentation or builds that shoppers could participate in
    • The participating schools could even do some sort of contest on the spot that day
Posted in CNYTEEA Updates, Fall Conference

CNY VEX Robotics

The year I started teaching was the year I began building a VEX robotics team. A box of parts and one returning club member was how the team started for me. The former club advisor had been moved to a different school in the district. Since then I have grown the club, my stockpile of parts, and my understanding of the competition. So what is VEX?

VEX is a building/robotics platform with the metal structure and nuts and bolts building of the old erector sets combined with the sensors and tech similar to Lego Mindstorms. Anyone teaching the Project Lead The Way Principles of Engineering course would be familiar with these kits. Although more time consuming to put together, these creations are more durable and flexible than many of the other platforms out there. For elementary school students VEX has released VEX IQ. This product is more Lego than Erector set, however offers both in-class and extra curricular opportunities.

For high school, middle school, and elementary school students there are team competitions with a changing scenario each year. This year’s competition is titled Skyrise. From Vex Robotics wiki:

VEX Skyrise is played on a 12’x12’ square field configured as seen above. Two alliances – one “red” and one “blue” – composed of two teams each, compete in matches consisting of a fifteen second autonomous period followed by one minute and forty-five seconds of driver-controlled play.
The object of the game is to attain a higher score than the opposing Alliance by Scoring your colored Cubes in Floor Goals, on Posts or on your Skyrise, by Owning Posts, and by Building your Skyrise Sections.

Some dates of local competition:

  • October 22, 2014- Wednesday- Open practice – Nottingham High School 3pm- 8pm
  • November 8, 2014- Saturday- Liverpool Vex Competition 8am-3pm
  • November 12, 2014- Wednesday- Open Practice – Nottingham High School 3pm-8pm
  • November 22, 2014- Saturday- SUNY Oswego NOR’Easter Vex Competition- 8am-3pm
  • December 3, 2014- Wednesday- Open practice – Nottingham High School 3pm- 8pm
  • December 6, 2014- Saturday- SCSD Intercity Vex Challenge Nottingham 8am-3pm
  • December 13, 2014- Saturday- Saratoga Springs Vex Challenge 8am-3pm
  • January 10, 2015- Saturday- Livonia Vex Competition 8am-3pm
  • January 17, 2015- Saturday- Baldwinsville Vex Competition 8am-3pm
  • February 4, 2015- Wednesday- Open practice – Nottingham High School 3pm- 8pm
  • February 7, 2015- Saturday- Northern New York State Vex Championship SRC Arena 7am-5pm
  • April 22-27, 2015- World Championships Kentucky

For more information on VEX, Skyrise, or competitions in the Central New York area check out:

Posted in VEX Robotics, Vice President's Corner

CNY Technology Clubs

Good Evening All!

After a recent discussion with Howard Botting from the Fayetteville Manlius School District, we came up with a great idea to increase awareness of the various Technology related clubs that Central New York has to offer.

Our website now includes a “CNY Technology Clubs” page (Link: This page, located under the “Resources” section of the website, is meant to be a comprehensive list of Technology Education related clubs that are in Central New York schools. With this information, we can see who has after school clubs that include similar activities. Joining forces, we can work together to discover if similar clubs are interested in creating some local contests/competitions. Contests/competitions would allow the students who want to get more involved, be more involved (we’re all limited by what we can do in a normal class trying to cover our curriculum) and promote what events are occurring through the news outlets bringing more exposure to what we do every day.

We need your help! If you have a Technology related club in your school, please contact us with the information below so that we can add the information to the website.

Information Needed

Club Name:
Website: If available
Contact: Name | Email

Example 1:

Arctic Warriors, FIRST Robotics Team 174
School: Liverpool High School
Grades: 9-12
Activities: FIRST Robotics
Contact: Eric Hubbard |

Example 2:

Technology Student Association (TSA)
School: Liverpool High School
Grades: 9-12
Activities: VEX Robotics, Electrathon Car
Contact: Dave Chartrand |

Posted in CNYTEEA Updates

2014 Steak Roast Thank You

Good Morning All!

I wanted to take a minute and say thank you for a wonderful Steak Roast that we had last night. We had over 60 people that came to support CNYTEEA! Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to eat a good meal together, reconnect with people, and learn about what is going on around Central New York. Special thanks to the Phoenix VFW for putting on another great event for us!

We are excited for a great school year. There are many new/returning things that are happening in the CNYTEEA this year. Make sure to check our calendar and your for what is coming up. Please let us know if you have any questions. Thanks!

Matt Starke
CNYTEEA President

Posted in Uncategorized


Good Evening All!

I hope that your school year is off to a great start. The CNYTEEA Annual Steak Roast is right around the corner!

CNYTEEA Annual Steak Roast

Wednesday, October 1st
Phoenix VFW
6 PM

Please RSVP to the Steak Roast by clicking the link below. Consider inviting outside members of the community like a school administrator or engineer to come as well.

The deadline to RSVP to the Steak Roast is Monday, September 22nd.

Steak Roast RSVP Form Link Here



Matt Starke
CNYTEEA President

Posted in Uncategorized

CNYTEEA September Updates

Good Afternoon!

I hope that you all had a great summer! The 2014 – 2015 school year is now here! With the start to the school year, the Central New York Technology & Engineering Educators’ Association (CNYTEEA) is looking to be stronger than ever.

There are quite a few updates to share with the group as we get started this year.

1. New Leadership: CNYTEEA is excited to announce a new President for the 2014 – 2015 school year. Matt Starke was elected President over the summer. Matt is a Technology Education Teacher from Liverpool High School and is part of the Robotics programs that the school offers. Learn more about Matt and the other CNYTEEA leaders on our website –

2. Better Communication: One of the main goals that Matt would like to bring to CNYTEEA is better communication among the group. This includes a few items listed below.

– New Website: In order to keep the CNYTEEA better centrally located, a website was created to be a “one stop shop” for the organization. This site has information about the leadership, the mission of CNYTEEA, the membership form, a blog style publication, calendar, and more. Check out the website here ( Please take a few minutes to look over and bookmark the site.

– CNYTEEA News Page: One items that has been done well in the past is updated publications about what is going on in Central New York. Included on the new website is a “CNYTEEA News” page ( This page is meant to be a place for different authors to publish different Technology and Engineering items that are going on in our region. The page could include headlines like “Here is a cool project that I am doing in my classroom” or “CNYTEEA Event Updates” or “Check out the Baldwinsville Tech Fest” or others.

– Social Media: The CNYTEEA Facebook & Twitter Feeds have also been consolidated. Everything that is posted, whether email or news, will be posted on our social media. Take a minute to Like us on Facebook ( and Follow Us on Twitter (

3. Awards & Tours: As always, the Department of the Year and Teacher of the Year will be up for public voting later in the school year. Something that has been done in the past is school and/or company tours. Matt would like to bring this back. Please reply to this email if you have a contact with a school or company that would be willing to give a tour to CNYTEEA.

4. Merchandise: We are in the process of researching CNYTEEA merchandise for purchase. The group is looking at Polos and Button Down Shirts with the CNYTEEA logo on it. More details to come later.

5. Annual Steak Roast: As mentioned in a previous email, the CNYTEEA Annual Steak Roast is Wednesday, October 1st at the Phoenix VFW at 6 PM. This event is meant as a time to reconnect with each other, complete CNYTEEA membership, and raise funds for CNYTEEA.

Note that you can fill out the membership form early by downloading the form on our website –

6. We Need Your Help! We are looking for a few people that would like to be authors of the CNYTEEA News Page. This would mean creating periodic publications for the site that give updates about Central New York. Reply to this email if you are interested.

Also, we are looking to post all Technology and Engineering events that are going on in Central New York on our Calendar to keep everyone informed. If you know of an event going on in Central New York, let us know!

That is it for now! Stay tuned for more updates about the Annual Steak Roast!

Matt Starke
CNYTEEA President

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Posted in CNYTEEA Updates

New Website!

logoblue_cnyteea.pngThe Central New York Technology & Engineering Educators’ Association (CNYTEEA) is proud to unveil a brand new website! The goal of this website is to increase awareness of the organization as well as provide a place for association members to collaborate.

Currently, the mission of the Central New York Technology & Engineering Educators’ Association (CNYTEEA) is four fold:

  • The association provides educators in the field with ongoing education experiences (News Letters, Industrial Tours, School Visits, Demonstrations) related to the evolving curricula and new technologies. Many of these activities will satisfy the professional development requirements which educators in the field must achieve.
  • The association provides a fellowship forum for educators in the field to collaborate and to share ideas and activities so that all may experience growth, improve instruction and develop new problem solving techniques.
  • The association recognizes the accomplishments and achievements of educators is the field for such things as: service, activity, and professional development.
  • The association supports educators in the field via lobbyists at the state and national level who work to keep Technology Education at the forefront for mandates, funding, and continued professional development in an era where these things and our very jobs are in jeopardy.

For the sake of our students, it is paramount that educators in the field enroll, support, and participate in the activities of the association which is dedicated to professional development and continued educational growth.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the organization or are interested in membership!

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Posted in Uncategorized