Developed by Minnesota State and partnered with STEM Fuse, this FREE curriculum includes teacher training and support.

Learn more about this curriculum at a short online webinar.

The IT fundamentals of software development, networking, hardware, security, analytics, game design, digital citizenship, tech careers, and more are all covered to give students a great start toward futures of understanding computer science.

Learn More About the ITX Curriculum, Support Offered, and Training Available.

Thursday, March 25, 2021 3:30-4:00pm
Tuesday, April 20, 2021 3:30-4:00pm


For more information contact Russell Fraenkel, Director of IT Career Pathways and Partnerships, Minnesota State – IT Center of Excellence | (651) 253.9438.

Event Details:

Registration: February 27th, 2021 @ 3:18am
Dates: February 27th, 2021 - February 27th, 2021
Time: 3:18am - 3:18am

Learn How to Use & Implement the ITX Curriculum

Click Date Below to Register

Wednesday, March 10th, 2021 from 9:30am to 12:00pm

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021 from 9:30am to 12:00pm

Wednesday, August 11th, 2021 from 1:00pm to 3:30pm

It Explorations is a free high school curriculum introducing students to IT skills and in-demand tech careers

IT Exploration (ITX) exposes middle and high school students to eight IT topical areas and a broad range of computing-based skills and competencies that today’s employers are seeking.

More Information

For more information contact Russell Fraenkel, Director of IT Career Pathways and Partnerships, Minnesota State – IT Center of Excellence | (651) 253.9438

Event Details:

Registration: February 27th, 2021 @ 3:18am
Dates: February 27th, 2021 - February 27th, 2021
Time: 3:18am - 3:18am

Register Here:

Are you a high school student who likes computer science? Do you enjoy thinking about ways to solve problems using technology? Have you dreamed of creating products and/or apps?
Then this event is for you!
WHO: All high school students – Come one come all! No prerequisites required and all skill levels welcome.

This event will take place on Zoom so you can participate from home.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

10 AM CST – 4:30 PM CST

Price: Free

Event Details:

Registration: February 27th, 2021 @ 3:18am
Dates: February 27th, 2021 - February 27th, 2021
Time: 3:18am - 3:18am

On Saturday, February  6, 2021 the Minnesota State I.T. Center of Excellence hosted the Minnesota State Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC).  The competition is a full day of competition and learning and over 100 students from 8 different Minnesota State System institutions from across the state participated.  This years event was moved online thanks to the pandemic.

The event itself consists of a live, controlled virtual environment where CCDC competitors assume administrative and protective duties for an existing “commercial” network – typically a small company with 50+ users, 7 to 10 servers, and common Internet services such as a web server, mail server, and e-commerce site.  Each team begins the competition with an identical set of hardware and software and is scored on their ability to detect and respond to outside threats, maintain availability of existing services such as mail servers and web servers, respond to business requests such as the addition or removal of additional services, and balance security needs against business needs.

Throughout the competition an automated scoring engine is used to verify the functionality and availability of each team’s services on a periodic basis and traffic generators continuously feed simulated user traffic into the competition network.  A volunteer Red Team (Ethical Hackers) provides the “external threat” of all Internet-based services which allows the teams to match their defensive skills against live opponents (hackers).


The competition was tight this year with the top five (5) teams all within 300 points (out of 28,000).

1st Place – Alexandria Technical and Community College, Alexandria, MN

Winners of the Minnesota CCDC advance to Regional CCDC ( hosted by Moraine Valley Community College in Illinois with a chance to compete at the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition At Texas San Antonio, Texas in April, 2021. ( This year all events are held remotely due to the Pandemic.









2nd Place – Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, MN








3rd Place – Lake Superior College, Duluth, MN









4th Place – Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Minneapolis, MN









Other Participating Teams: Hennepin Technical College, (Brooklyn Park), Minnesota State Community and Technical College (Moorhead), Minnesota State University, Mankato (Mankato), and St. Cloud State University (St. Cloud).


Alexandria Technical and Community College will automatically move on to the Regional CCDC the end of March 2021 and 2nd Place Metropolitan State University will complete in the Midwest Wildcard for an additional chance to move on to the Regional as well.

A huge thank you to the support team!

For more information or to set up time to speak with students, faculty advisors, or leaders of this event please contact Janice Aanenson at




Event Details:

Registration: February 27th, 2021 @ 3:18am
Dates: February 27th, 2021 - February 27th, 2021
Time: 3:18am - 3:18am

Event Details:

Registration: February 27th, 2021 @ 3:18am
Dates: February 27th, 2021 - February 27th, 2021
Time: 3:18am - 3:18am


Editor’s Note: This statement was written before the Capitol riot and ensuing violence last week; however, these events only make our commitment to change even more urgent and important.

Each new year entails looking back and looking ahead. This year we look back to underscore that 2020’s anti-Black racist violence is not a series of isolated moments to put behind us. Despite widespread public outpourings of disgust and anger, police killed Black people at three times the rate of white people. From the 1955 murder of Emmett Till to the 2020 killing of Breonna Taylor, there is a long-standing pattern of not pressing charges against those responsible for such brutal acts. And these, of course, are not the only patterns; racism is baked into the interlocking systems of American society. Racist ideologies have been publicly legitimized, inequities often go unchallenged, and those who do challenge these inequities often fear retribution. Furthermore, technologies have often been weaponized against Black people, and efforts to research or eliminate these inequities are often met with indifference or outright resistance. Hindsight highlights the critical work that lies ahead. To prevent history from repeating itself, we must eradicate systems that perpetuate racism.

Past reflection, however, is not enough. We must also look ahead to determine how we can further our and others’ work to address these pervasive systemic inequities. As we have noted before, without explicit and careful attention to intersectionality, efforts to increase the meaningful and influential participation of women in computing often default to a focus on women who are white, straight,  young and middle or upper class — thus marginalizing the concerns of women of color. In our June statement, we pledged to take “actionable steps to improve NCWIT and to participate in making the technology world more welcoming to Black people.” As 2021 begins, we are following up on that statement, sharing some of the actions we have taken and plan to take. We do so in a spirit of accountability and gratitude to all of our staff and contractors, members, and partners who help make this work possible.

Internal Culture and Processes

When working with NCWIT community members we stress the need for a systemic and strategic approach to change, one that we aim to apply internally as well. To take stock of these efforts, we recently formed an internal work team focused on consistently attending to racial justice in our public work and organizational culture. The team includes staff and contractors from all levels of the organization with many different identities and cultural backgrounds. An initial focus of the team has been to develop a strategic plan for the organization, including measurable objectives related to each of the commitments made in our June statement.

Since we know that listening is an important first step to any successful strategic plan, we initiated a process of internal inquiry, conducting a survey of all NCWIT staff and contractors. The survey gathered data on individuals’ experiences and perceptions around issues of race and equity within the organization and their familiarity and comfort with anti-racism tactics. Coincident with the survey, staff and contractors attended a commissioned workshop on systemic racism conducted by the Racial Equity Institute. We also held large- and small-group internal discussions on intentional and inclusive language choices, considering terms such as womxn, female, minority, underrepresented, BIPOC, and many more, drawing from sociological, linguistic and historical perspectives.

Going forward, our survey results have laid the groundwork for ways to better equip our staff with tools and techniques for fostering equity in everyday interactions and in organizational processes. We are developing a plan for improving knowledge and skills in these areas. As part of that plan, we will be applying our own Tech Inclusion Journey assessment process (a research-based, systemic approach to creating inclusive and equitable cultures) to key “focus areas” (e.g., recruitment/selection, employee development, everyday bias). And, we are embedding increased accountability for the outcomes of our organization-wide strategic plan.

External Programming

We are also assessing how we address systemic racism in the work that we do publicly through our Alliances, programs, and initiatives. For example, both the NCWIT Academic Alliance and the Aspirations in Computing program have incorporated increased commitments around racial equity into their strategic plans, and have been making progress on program goals of increasing diverse representation.

A major part of our work is to equip K-12, post-secondary, and corporate change leaders with resources for taking action, and we are systematically assessing our resources for ways to call more attention to intersectionality and anti-racism. This fall we launched re:think, a thought leadership magazine from NCWIT. which The inaugural issue prominently features the work of Black scholars and computing professionals on topics such as racial bias in algorithms and technology, among others. We also were honored to have Dr. Nicki Washington present a public talk called “My Work is My Protest.” A new course for the open source community that addresses systemic racism and a new presentation focused on bias in software and algorithms will help us increase awareness and action. Additionally, we plan to extend our research on what constitutes “influential participation” in computing, looking specifically at equity across computing sub-disciplines and in R&D team contexts.

We will persist in leveraging our national platform of programs, campaigns, resources, and conversations to raise the visibility of people in technology who have been excluded, or otherwise marginalized. We will continue to recruit a diverse array of institutions and organizations into our membership, and individuals onto our leadership teams, to ensure NCWIT represents all who care about changing the status quo.

We know that much critical work remains, and we are committed to the journey. Change won’t happen by itself; we must keep our shoulder to the wheel. A new year represents a beacon for change, another opportunity to break the cycle of history repeating itself.

Event Details:

Registration: February 27th, 2021 @ 3:18am
Dates: February 27th, 2021 - February 27th, 2021
Time: 3:18am - 3:18am

Welcome back Minnesota State System Faculty!

The fun has started as we move into January 2021! Spring Semester is always the busiest one for our student and faculty trainings, competition, work opportunities and events. We will again need to structure these differently thanks to Covid, but we really hope faculty will take the time to participate or support your students in participating in our upcoming I.T. events.

SAS Visual Data Mining and Machine Learning Workshop

February 4, 2021

Learn theoretical foundation and hands-on experience using the tool through the SAS Visual Analytics Interface. The course uses an interactive approach to teach

  • visualization
  • model assessment
  • model deployment

Register today at:


(CCDC) The State of Minnesota Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition 

February 6, 2021

This intense cyber security competition showcases I.T. students understanding and operational competency to protect real world business I.T. networks!

CCDC student teams compete against a “Red Team” of professionals who try to hack and infiltrate the student networks. This year will be a remote access event including seven (7) competing institutions with near 100 students participating virtually.


Data Derby 2021 Student Data Competition

April 17, 2021

This competition gives students who desire to work on discovering findings through data an opportunity to shine. This year the data will come from NASA and NOAA to create a Data Derby build on Discovery. Students will be given the data and Questions Mid-March and have 6 weeks to work to explore the data.

Student Teams 2-5 can compete! Register Your Team Here!


New Directions in IT Faculty Conference

March 26th and April 9th, 2021

The 2021 New Direction Faculty Conference will once again be virtual due to social distancing. We  have adjusted the schedule to provide two days within spring semester for faculty to come together and learn about Center Projects, Initiatives, and sharing of what you all have been up to.

March 26- afternoon virtual session 

Discussion of our Summer Collaborative Funding Project Options

Opportunity to hear what faculty members have happening and needs.

During this event we will also be allowing faculty to present projects to get ITCOE Grant Funding and/or sign up for Curriculum Development and Learning Activity work that we are finalizing this summer.

April 9 – open afternoon session

Share visions and ideas with larger audience.

Breakout rooms for the different areas of instruction (Cyber, Data, DevOps) Talk with other faculty that share your common passion and work.

Register for New Directions Here!

If you have a project you would like to have funded, please let me know! Projects must be submitted by April 2, 2021 to Janice Aanenson ( We can’t wait to hear your ideas.



Knowing the challenges of getting together in person, we decided to learn from each other and tech industry leaders, through an Academic Webinar Series. We have produced webinars on C-PLAN, Career and Readiness Badging, Cyber Security at home, “G” Factor, Curriculum Design Projects, diversity, and other items of interest. If you missed any of the webinars they are recorded and ready for you on our You Tube Channel. The recordings are also available for use in your classroom. All Academic Webinars are open for your needs.


Many faculty has played a critical part in the creation of this important project.  Nearly all modules developed by our faculty collaborators are now housed in the Minnesota State D2L. This allows ANY faculty member within the Minnesota State System to access all the Modules and the use of them directly in your courses.

Check out the bottom of the IT Curriculum Modules Page to see Modules, learning outcomes, and industry standard mappings in Cyber, Data, Agile, and Career Readiness.

Event Details:

Registration: February 27th, 2021 @ 3:18am
Dates: February 27th, 2021 - February 27th, 2021
Time: 3:18am - 3:18am

Calling all individuals and businesses to lend your support to young women in Minnesota to become our next, best technology talent.  The Minnesota Aspirations in Computing (MNAiC) program seeks sponsors, virtual mentors, summer internship providers, skill development partners, and volunteers for many other meaningful engagement opportunities.


To learn more about the nearly 10-year-old partnership, visit


Each year, Minnesota’s female high school students with a technology affinity participate in the year-round program.  Many of the program participants submit an application to be honored at the national and state level for their prowess, passion, and technology practices. There are 79 Aspirations in Computing (AiC) Affiliates throughout the nation.  Minnesota typically places in the top 5 for submissions.


Participation interest and recognition success is due in large part to the strong ecosystem in Minnesota that provides excellent opportunities for high school students to grow their technology confidence and competence.  A high percentage of the 40-45 top-tier honorees selected annually become interns for Minnesota businesses and enter a talent pipeline in dire need of greater gender, racial, and ethnic diversity.


It takes a concerned and caring community to make a difference for young women preparing to  make an impact as a young technologist and future leader.   Please get involved!   To discuss how you and your organization can become engaged, contact

Event Details:

Registration: February 27th, 2021 @ 3:18am
Dates: February 27th, 2021 - February 27th, 2021
Time: 3:18am - 3:18am