Through our CS Initiatives, we work to expand our impact in communities that host SMASH Academies. Our CS Academy prepares non-SMASH students for the AP CS exams and our CS Professional Development initiatives empower teachers to build a robust CS program at their school. These initiatives mend early gaps along the Leaky Tech Pipeline and provide young African American and Latinx students with an accessible, impactful entry point into STEM.
SMASH seeks to address in California, the following:
- In California, by 2018, there will be a demand for over half a million new computing-related jobs, growing twice as fast (22% growth in 10 years) as the average rate for all occupations.
- California is currently producing too few skilled computer science workers to meet the increasing demand.
- Computer science jobs are among the highest-paying occupations, with an average mean annual salary of $78,730.
One of the ways SMASH is increasing access to and success in computer science education for underrepresented students of color is through a grant awarded by the National Science Foundation Computing Education for the 21st Century (CE21) program. This grant enables SMASH to further develop the computer science course sequence within the SMASH Academy, providing a three-summer and one-academic year sequence of computer science courses for students and professional development for instructors, with the ultimate goal of preparing students to take and pass the AP Computer Science A (and AP Computer Science Principles) course.
This project aims to directly impact student engagement, interest, and computer science aspirations, and significantly increase the number of high school students of color in California taking computer science courses and taking and passing the AP Computer Science exams. This project also provides a scalable model for replication of computer science pathways to college among underrepresented high school students of color in out-of-school settings, to greatly expand the number of African American and Latino students within the computer science pipeline.
CS Initiatives Goals
- Develop a high school CS pipeline model in an out-of-school context providing a path to Advanced Placement Computer Science preparation
- Partner with school districts and other mission-aligned organizations to impact more students in the field of computer science.