The Div, a 501c3 nonprofit organization founded by Jay Chapman, Cory Miller, and Scott Day in Oklahoma, has been selected by Code.org to be a learning partner. The organization will help expand access to computer science education across the state by being the designated provider of Code.org educational programs.
Thanks to funding provided by Code.org, The Div is offering development and course curriculum to local teachers and school districts at no cost to them.
Curriculum and courses include, Computer Science Discoveries for grades 7-9 and Computer Science Principles for high school and AP students. There’s also a Computer Science Fundamentals course that teachers can implement in elementary school classrooms.
Miller, founder of iThemes and board President of The Div, spoke in Washington DC last week at an event hosted by The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. At the event, he discussed why businesses like iThemes are supporting and advocating for computer science education.
I spoke with Miller and asked him what the partnership means to him on a personal level. “We started The Div 5 years ago to simply give back to our local community in meaningful ways,” Miller said.
“By far the most impactful thing we’ve done, and now our primary focus, is teaching kids to code through our in-person workshops. When I see kids in those workshops learning and growing, then reading their feedback forms afterward, that’s all the validation we need that we’re achieving our mission and doing good here in Oklahoma.”
Miller explains why the partnership with Code.org is instrumental to accomplishing the organization’s goals.
“The partnership with Code.org takes this simple vision to the next level with computer science education resources and connections to make an even greater exponential impact for kids as it is an in-school initiative where we equip schools to be able to offer computer science at a time when most schools don’t.”
According to The Div, only 25 schools in the state of Oklahoma or 8% of schools with AP programs offered the AP computer science course in 2014-2015. Out of all STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subject areas, computer science has the least amount of exams taken by students.
Beginning January 2017, applications will open for teachers who want to learn a curriculum. Until then, educators are encouraged to keep an eye on the Computer Science Discoveries and the AP Computer Science Principles pages for updates.