EcoSystemsforCS

EcoSystemsforCS is a new initiative launched by CSforALL with support from Schmidt Futures to provide catalyst grants to 10 communities across the US to promote community-led systems change in K-12 computer science education. Ten communities will receive funding and technical assistance over a one year period to engage a diverse set of partners in launching an ecosystem initiative to drive implementation of high quality, equitable CS.

Questions? Email: ecosystemsforcs@csforall.org


UPDATE 10/24/19: Congratulations to our first cohort of EcoSystemsforCS awardees!

photo credit: Christopher Carruth

Read more in the profiles below, as well as in our medium article and fact sheet.

The 10 Awardees Are:

  1. Central Washington CS Alliance (Wenatchee, Washington)
  2. Central2CS, (Worthington, Ohio)
  3. CS4ALL Miami powered by Miami EdTech (Miami, Florida)
  4. CSforCHI (Chicago, Illinois)
  5. CSforOK (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
  6. CSforRGV (Mission, Texas)
  7. CSMN-Southeast (St. Paul, Minnesota)
  8. Gateway to Computer Science (Richmond, Virginia)
  9. Girls Code 205 in Birmingham (Birmingham, Alabama)
  10. New MexiCodes (Santa Fe, New Mexico)

Awardee Profiles:

Central Washington CS Alliance (Wenatchee, Washington)

Working together to ensure equitable access to computer science education for all youth in Central Washington.

Central2CS, (Worthington, Ohio)

With support from CSforAll’s EcosystemsforCS catalyst grant, the Teaching & Learning Collaborative and TECH CORPS will organize and conduct a joint planning process in Central Ohio designed to determine how diverse stakeholders from multiple sectors can assume a shared responsibility for achieving a mutually-beneficial goal: to promote community-led systems change in K-12 computer science (CS) education.

CS4ALL Miami powered by Miami EdTech (Miami, Florida)

As part of its mission to make computer science education more inclusive and increase the pipeline of diverse computer science educators, Miami EdTech is thrilled to announce its participation in EcoSystemsforCS - a new initiative launched by CSforALL with support from Schmidt Futures and which seeks to provide catalyst grants to 10 communities across the US to promote community-led systems change in K-12 computer science education. Miami-Dade County Public Schools is the fourth largest school district in the United States, comprised of 392 schools, 345,000 students and over 40,000 employees. Our goal with CS4ALL Miami is to provide professional development opportunities for teachers in Miami and to develop a strategy and work plan that can be implemented for rigorous and equitable CS Education.

CSforCHI (Chicago, Illinois)

CSforCHI will support Chicago’s efforts to advance equity and high-quality awareness, access, and pathways in K-12 computer science education for Chicago youth, educators, and families. The effort is led by the Chicago Learning Exchange (CLX) and a dynamic project team including Chicago Public Schools’ CS4ALL department, Chicago Public Libraries (CPL), Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS), Northwestern University Office of Community Education Partnerships (OCEP), and nonprofit partners including We All Code, Project Exploration, and Project Syncere. In-kind professional development and strategic support will be provided by Lego Education Foundation.

Together, we envision building upon Chicago’s rich CS ecosystem, connecting the in-school and out-of-school time space, and most importantly addressing inequities in opportunity within computer science (CS). Throughout CSforCHI, the project team will unlock partnerships, create greater visibility for CS, and share learnings. By the culmination, we will create a strategic plan and attract additional resources to continue to advance equity within Chicago’s learning ecosystem so that all Chicago youth can flourish in the future of learning and work.

CSforOK (Tulsa, Oklahoma)

The Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance is committed to creating broad, deep, and innovative STEM pathways for students to access high-impact careers - including careers in computer science. We recognize that a lack of resources such as time, materials, and teachers, is a major barrier to implementing high quality computer science education. With the recent adoption of state computer science standards and the state’s goal to require CS coursework for graduation; schools are looking for ways to meet the needs of individual students. The CSforOK will provide pathways to meet two immediate goals to grow CS in OK. First, we will offer a SCRIPT training allowing regional districts to examine their current practices and formulate an intentional plan to implement CS pathways and elevate existing programming. Second, we will organize and hold a regional CSforOK ecosystem convening. This conference will allow representatives from K12 education to network with higher education, informal education, and CS industry partners to exchange ideas and develop partnerships. CSforOK will work with partners to reach our ultimate goal of empowering students who are equipped to access the high-impact careers of their choosing. To do this, we must provide ongoing, robust support to teachers and schools through collaboration and communication - the basis for any successful ecosystem.

CSforRGV (Mission, Texas)

CSforRGV aims to provide inclusive access to computer science education to students, parents, and teachers of the Rio Grande Valley. The Rio Grande Valley (RGV) is located on the southeastern tip of Texas along the US-Mexico border. This vibrant, fast-growing community is home to resilient students and caring educators. Despite limited pool of financial resources and issues of digital equity, the RGV has pioneered the implementation of progressive CS initiatives. Thanks to its partnership with Youth Code Jam, CSforRGV will offer low-sensory coding events for neurodiverse students, distribute 20 bilingual “Jam in a Box” kits to Title 1 schools, and provide professional development for educators who wish to run their own Community Code Jams. CSforRGV aims to provide educators and community leaders with the tools they need sustain the implementation of CS education.

CSMN-Southeast (St. Paul, Minnesota)

Twin Cities PBS, in partnership with the Southeast Service Cooperative’s STEM Forward, announces the CSMN-Southeast EcoSystemforCS. This ecosystem will create strategic plan to increase K-12 Computer Science (CS) access in southeast Minnesota. The CSMN-Southeast planning team will be made up of representatives from higher education, industry, K-12 teachers and administrators, content providers as well as the Southeast Service Cooperative.

Gateway to Computer Science (Richmond, Virginia)

The Gateway project, named for the economic development region of the state where it is located, will develop based on the CSforALL Script model a collaborative toolset and cooperative mindset among stakeholders at a regional, local government, local school division and individual school building level, seeking to allow the regional and local teams to define the “why” of computer science education in their unique region of the state. Gateway is unique in that it represents both one of the state’s most distressed inner-city school systems and a rural minority farming community where computer science education is not yet viewed as relevant either to local workforce or within the hierarchy of educational need. But as the state’s mandated computer science standards go into effect statewide, this ecosystem pilot presents an opportunity to allow regional stakeholders to own and understand how their region and their children will benefit.

Girls Code 205 in Birmingham (Birmingham, Alabama)

The NCWIT and Birmingham Public Libraries ecosytem, Girls Code 205 in Birmingham, is dedicated to increasing the meaningful participation of girls and women in K-12 computing opportunities in the Birmingham area. Goals of the ecosystem include providing K-12 computing programs for girls/young women, professional development of educators for libraries and school partners and the development of resources for libraries and schools.

New MexiCodes (Santa Fe, New Mexico)

New MexiCodes will bring together educators, businesses, computer scientists, educational non-profits and community organizations in Northern NM to identify the existing resources as well as the barriers to accessing CS education. New MexiCodes proposes to address these barriers through strategic meetings that will create the necessary partnerships and collective vision for the region and will support the school districts, families and local organizations to increase access to computer science education.


About CSforALL:
CSforALL is the national hub of the computer science for all movement with a mission to make high-quality computer science an integral part of K-12 education in the United States. Our three pillar approach; Support Local Change, Increase Rigor and Equity, and Grow the Movement, directs our work across a national and local spectrum to provide equitable and accessible K-12 computer science education to every student. We engage with diverse stakeholders leading computer science initiatives across the nation to support and facilitate implementation of rigorous, inclusive and sustainable computer science. For more information: www.csforall.org Twitter: @CSforALL

Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative, founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, that bets early on people who will make our world better — helping people to achieve more for others by applying advanced science and technology thoughtfully and by working together across fields.

Learn more at schmidtfutures.com

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