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Coding in the Classroom

A UTCS Outreach Program

Coding in the Classroom is a recent outreach initiative of UTCS, in which members of the UTCS community (students, faculty, alumni, and friends) go out into the local schools and teach a coding. In doing so, we introduce computer science to a diverse group of students and we build community amongst ourselves.

Our programs are designed to introduce students to coding in 6-8 weeks. Working in teams of approximately five, we travel to a local school for an hour each week, and we introduce coding through hands-on activities. We also strive to inspire the students through open-ended projects that capture their imaginations. For most of our programs, we are using LEGO Mindstorms or Kano Kits. You can check out our curricula page for more information. In addition to teaching coding, we introduce the idea of computer science and how its concepts can be used to change the world.

We are currently running or facilitating twelve classroom programs at seven schools:

All told, these programs, which are led by approximately 45 UTCS student mentors, are reaching approximately 230 K-12 students this school year.

While it is too early to measure long-term results, our mentors report that the programs are going well and the students seem interested. We have found that programs that take place during the school day in the classroom (as opposed to an afterschool coding club) are more successful.

Want your school to be involved?

Please send email to Alison N. Norman (ans@cs.utexas.edu) and let her know that you are interested.

Want to volunteer with us?

Volunteer opportunities are sent out over our outreach email list. Please send email to Alison N. Norman (ans@cs.utexas.edu) to get subscribed. Please include the email address at which you would like to receive messages, and please know that you will need to pass a background check with Austin Partners in Education.

Want to donate?

We are always raising funds to buy equipment for new programs and help offset the cost of transportation. We would love your help! Any amount is appreciated.

Many Thanks!

The clubs at Sunset Valley Elementary (4th and 5th grades) and TSBVI (afterschool) received funding and support from Google's igniteCS program.

TSBVI also received funding and support from an AccessComputing minigrant from the DO-IT program at the University of Washington and from Keller Williams Realty.