A Reimagined SMASH to Drive Tomorrow’s Tech Future
After 20+ years of groundbreaking and impactful efforts to build a strong and diverse STEM workforce, SMASH has achieved an impressive track record of impact:
Served 2,000+ scholars from groups underrepresented in STEM fields, 50% female
Scaled programs across 11 top-ranked universities, pioneering the integration of culturally responsive education, STEM content, and deep-impact residential programming
100% of SMASH scholars were accepted to college, and 79% of scholars graduated with STEM degrees
Produced research on the CS/STEM landscape and effective STEM interventions.
Yet, we remained eager to continue to evolve, increase our impact, and meet the current needs of students, communities, the economy, and our nation.
The Board and staff spent 6 months in deep reflection, assessing current contextual factors, and reimagining the next phase of SMASH, with specific goals to reach an exponentially higher number of students, increase cost-effectiveness of programming, align to the broader work of the Kapor family of organizations, and centering innovation in all that we do.
In a time when there are a series of organized attacks on the momentum and progress towards racial equity, from the SCOTUS decision eliminating the use of affirmative action in college admissions, and lawsuits against organizations/initiatives aiming to close racial equity gaps, to legislation across states restricting teaching concepts related to race, equity, and bias, and the persistent lack of diversity in the tech workforce, the work of SMASH has become even more crucial. Our commitment to leveling the playing field in STEM and CS education remains unwavering. We firmly believe that diversity drives innovation and is a necessity for a brighter, more equitable future.
We are thrilled to announce a reimagined SMASH to drive tomorrow’s tech future.
SMASH’s mission is clear:toexpand equity and innovationin computing education by exposing, inspiring and preparing students of color topursue CS/computing education,degrees, credentials, and careers while ensuring students understand thesocial, ethical, and political impacts of technology in order to contribute to a more equitable tech sector.
In this next phase of SMASH, we will work to engage even more scholars from underrepresented backgrounds through a more intensively CS-focused curriculum across a wider variety of formats, both virtual and in-person.
SMASH Academy In-Person Programming
SMASH will continue to operate its summer academy through a three-week, cost-free, residential program during the summer, which will provide students with the opportunity to take CS/AI/ML courses, network with faculty and tech professionals, engage in project-based learning, and become grounded in the philosophy of tech for social good.
Summer SMASH Academies will serve rising 11th and 12th grade students throughout the Bay Area, greater Atlanta, Detroit, and Boston regions at the following universities: Morehouse, Spelman, Northeastern, University of Michigan, and UC Berkeley.
SMASH Virtual Programming
To inspire a wider national audience, we will provide early exposure to CS/emerging technology topics and empower youth to address pressing issues through hackathons and open innovation challenges, that will also provide an onramp to other programs, courses, and offerings.
Since nearly 50% of students still lack opportunities to take CS courses in their schools, SMASH will provide virtual courses on topics including AI/ML, cybersecurity, and programming, to ensure all students have the opportunity to gain foundational knowledge and skills for future CS educational pathways
To provide insights into college and career pathways in CS and STEM, we will develop a college+career digital platform to share information, experiences, and resources to help students navigate and succeed in their CS journey–from HS courses to college, and into careers. This content will be designed to support alumni of SMASH programs as well as other interested scholars.
With your support, we are committed to continue shaping the future of CS/STEM by ensuring students from all backgrounds have access to knowledge, resources, and experiences to prepare them for futures in technology. Our scholars are not just engineers, data scientists, programmers, and mathematicians; they are changemakers who will revolutionize the tech industry and drive progress and positive change in their communities and beyond.
Join us as we launch this incredible journey for SMASH:
Scholar Applications: Applications for the next SMASH Academy cohort are coming soon. Stay tuned for applications and additional program offerings and please share widely in your networks.
Support: We invite you to support our scholars and programming by making a donation to SMASH where 100% of your gift will be matched to double your impact!
Follow Us: Follow us on Linkedin, Facebook, and Instagram for the latest information on SMASH programs and to learn more about our scholars and their impact.
Together, we can SMASH the boundaries of what’s possible in CS and STEM as we continue our commitment to ensuring all scholars, regardless of zip code, have the ability to participate and thrive in the global economy with new, more innovative, and sustainable programming.