Last week saw the culmination of a partnership announced in late 2016 between U.S. Representative Will Hurd (TX-23) and the Center for STEM Education (the parent organization of WeTeach_CS) to increase students’ exposure to computer science concepts in the sprawling 23rd Congressional District which stretches west from San Antonio, along the border to just outside El Paso. Joining the partnership were Dell, Facebook, Intel, and Brocade who combined to fund a 3-day Bootstrap workshop for 40 middle and high school mathematics teachers at BiblioTech, the digital library of Bexar County. The workshop, facilitated by WeTeach_CS, introduced participants to a curriculum which integrates programming with Algebra.
“The teachers were great to work with,” commented Emmanuel Schanzer of Bootstrap. “We had a 1st year teacher and a 20-year veteran. We had teachers from rural schools who work with 4 kids at a time, and from urban centers where they have 30 kids in a class.”
Representative Hurd’s office produced a video which highlights the workshop and its impact on the teachers who participated. They also released the following statement.
Hurd Computer Science Teacher Training a Hit
San Antonio, TX – During a three-day workshop this weekend in San Antonio, more than 40 middle and high school math teachers from 16 school districts between San Antonio and Socorro were taught how to incorporate coding and computer science lessons into their curriculums. This initiative was led by U.S. Congressman Will Hurd, in partnership with the University of Texas Center for STEM Education, a non-profit computer science teacher training organization called Bootstrap, and sponsored by several tech companies including Dell, Intel, Facebook, and Brocade.
The training, which was held at BiblioTech South, will impact more than 1,000 students across Texas the first year alone, in an effort to expose them to computer science education at an earlier age. Click here to see video.
Bootstrap can be embedded into an intro CS or mainstream algebra class, taught by a teacher with no CS background. By integrating algebra with computing, Bootstrap fosters student growth in both subjects while helping schools meet logistical and staffing challenges. Using Bootstrap as part of a standard algebra class ensures equitable access: since every student takes algebra, Bootstrap reaches all students – not just those who self-select by race, gender, or income. 43% of Bootstrap students are young women, and 46% identify as African-American or Latino
WeTeach_CS is offering three Bootstrap training workshops this spring and summer, in Austin, Houston, and Edinburg, Texas. Click for more information.