The second week of December every year is Computer Science Education Week. It is a week to celebrate efforts to get computer science education into the K12 system around the world, and it is also a week in which schools do events, like The Hour of Code, to encourage students and teachers to get excited about learning computer science.
Most AVC readers know that my passion project for the last decade has been getting computer science education broadly available in the NYC public school system. I have also been involved in efforts to get computer science education adopted around the US and around the world. But my primary focus has been NYC.
This Computer Science Education Week, I celebrated by meeting with a very large employer in NYC and talking about getting that company’s employees deeply engaged with computer science education in the NYC schools and supporting the CS4All Capital Campaign, which I Chair. CS4All is NYC’s ten-year effort to get computer science classes into every school building in NYC by training 5,000 NYC public school teachers to deliver computer science classes. The CS4All Capital Campaign is a $40mm fundraising effort to support CS4All. We are now within spitting distance of the $40mm goal as we are in our seventh year of the campaign and program. If you know any individuals or non-profits or companies that would like to support the capital campaign, reply to this email or hit me up on Twitter and I would love to talk to them.
I also participated in an event at Hunter College last night to discuss their effort to provide computer science certification courses to NYC teachers. This is a program that has run for two years now, led by my friend Mike Zamansky, who I like to call “the godfather of CS education in NYC.” The Hunter computer science certification program is supported by our public charity Gotham Gives and Google. We provide scholarships to high-performing teachers who want to get NYS certified as computer science teachers. If you know individuals, non-profits, or companies that would like to join Gotham Gives and Google supporting this effort, reply to this email or hit me up on Twitter.
My one regret about this computer science education week is that I did not make it into a school building. This is the second year in a row that has been the case and I miss seeing teachers and students working together on projects and problems. My best moments over the years in this work have always been in the schools.
This photo of incoming mayor Eric Adams and former Chancellor Richard Carranza was taken by me at PS24 in Sunset Park Brooklyn during CS Education Week in 2018. I wrote about that visit here.
Computer science is the first new subject to be taught in K12 in 50+ years. Getting it broadly available in schools is hard work and requires commitment and persistence and a massive investment of time and money. But it is all worth it. Seeing the kids get excited about coding brings a big smile to my face every time.