Year in Review: CSforALL’s Relentless 2020

Even in an unimaginable, dumpster fire year, CSforALL is proud of everything we accomplished in 2020 and optimistic for the year 2021

Image Credit: Trust Ed

In a year where being agile, innovative and proactive wasn’t an option, we, as an organization, were tested and stretched in our mission’s delivery as many across the nation were. We look back at 2020 proud of our team’s effort, inspired by the CSforALL (Computer Science for ALL) communities’ resilience and thankful for our funders, partners, and extended networks. Together we continued to advance a crucial national mission under many on-going uncertainties.

Before we go full steam ahead in 2021, let’s take a moment to acknowledge CSforALL’s work and outcomes that our organization produced in the chaotic year 2020:

SCRIPT Symposium

2020 CSforALL SCRIPT Symposium, Denton, TX

Kicking-off 2020, CSforALL hosted its second annual computer science symposium in Denton, Texas. For the second consecutive year, thanks to DELL Technologies, CSforALL had the opportunity to gather 17 school district teams and 36 facilitators from more than 18 states across the United States to learn about our framework and tool for strategic planning and implementation: the “SCRIPT”.

Our 2020 host was the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. With their incredible support, and the contributions of our local presenting partner State Farm the 2020 CSforALL SCRIPT Symposium was extremely impactful and successful. To read more about the full three-day 2020 CSforALL SCRIPT Symposium, see our Medium post, ‘Envision, Support, Connect, and Lead.

2020 ended with 96 SCRIPT facilitators trained, over 80+ SCRIPT workshops held, and 220 School Districts served! As of 2021, virtual SCRIPT facilitator trainings as well as virtual SCRIPT workshops for districts will continue to be held. For more information contact the SCRIPT team at script@csforall.org!

JROTC-CS Demonstration Project

JROTC-CS Demonstration Project, Washington, D.C.

Our efforts were in full motion as we hosted our second workshop mid-February in Washington D.C. 30 Air Force Junior ROTC High Schools gathered in the Nation’s Capitol to kickoff the JROTC-CS Demonstration Project. The new project is an innovative public-private partnership aimed at bringing together administrators, computer science educators and the Junior ROTC instructors in their schools to engage more young students in computing and cybersecurity education pathways.

Building on the CSforALL SCRIPT model, the two-day workshop, with the piloting schools, received school-level capacity building training, professional development for both teachers and Junior ROTC instructors, and internship, mentoring and scholarship opportunities for the students.

To learn more about the two-day worksop, read ‘JROTC-CS: A Collaboration for Equity & Scale’, and see the full event, here. For more information about on-going activity around the Demonstration Project, visit: JROTC-CS Demonstration Project Page.

Our Response to the Global Pandemic (COVID-19)

Photo Credit: Code.Org

A switch happened early March in our organization, as for millions across the globe, when COVID-19 became a global pandemic. CSforALL immediately converted to a virtual workplace with the mindset of continuing our mission’s work in a virtual setting with our members, project partners, and each other. You can find our full CSforALL Response to COVID-19, here.

Our organization recognized that this was a moment in time for us to support, communicate, and share resources with the extended CSforALL community, nonprofit organizations, school districts, parents, and more. We conducted a series of webinars that would bring resources, conversations, and connections to those adjusting to the new remote learning model in CS education.

CSforALL’s Top Media Resources Supporting the Movement:

For additional CS education COVID-19 resources, please visit our CSforALL’s Medium and Vimeo pages. We recognize this health crisis isn’t over and the way we educate will be changed for future generations to come. Together we will continue our innovative efforts to make high-quality computer science accessible for all.

CSforALL Commitments

Jessica Song, Founding Member and Head Officer of Education (center) with three event attendees, July 2019

Since 2017, CSforALL has created a call to action for organizations to submit commitments towards the goal of rigorous, inclusive and sustainable computer science for all students. In 2020, we knew access to computer science has never been more crucial to preparing United States students for the future. To communicate the importance and share the true impact of making a CSforALL commitment, we released a series of Commitment Webinars to the community that highlighted different perspectives and stories from past commitment makers.

Top Commitments Webinars:

Read more about past commitment makers on our CSforALL Vimeo and Medium pages. Learn more about CSforALL commitments, here, and look out for our annoucement about 2021 commitments.

Racial Equity

As of June 2020, CSforALL pledged to take seven initial Actions to focus on anti-racism and injustice inspired by voices and messages from the CS community.

With these seven initial pledges, we acknowledged this is the very beginning of our work on anti-racism and injustice. As an organization committed to equity in education, CSforALL acknowledges the systemic racism that permeates our society. We will continuously work towards the learnings that need to happen for us as an organization and as individuals to do our best in the education systems space, while supporting organizations who support the critical education of youth, especially black youth and non-black youth of color.

See our full response as an organization to anti-racism and injustice, here.

Ecosystem for CS Education

Map of the 10 national awardees of the first cohort of EcoSystemsforCS

During the 2019 Summit, CSforALL announced 10 national awardees to join the first cohort of EcoSystemsforCS, with support from Schmidt Futures, that would promote community-led systems change in K-12 computer science education. Over their one year period each awardee received a grant along with technical assistance and access to other resources and experts to support local organizing efforts, and unlock resources, partnerships, and opportunities.

The EcoSystemsforCS awardees activities included a kick-off convening in Richmond, VA, monthly community calls, design thinking workshop series, and a culminating event — Shark-Tank Pitches- — that gave each E4CS cohort the opportunity to present their strategic plans virtually to a set of judges. The final report from the first cohort of EcoSystemsforCS will be released soon. To learn more about the project, visit CSforALL EcoSystemsforCS.

2020 CSforALL Commitments Showcase

Though the CSforALL Summit was postponed to 2021 in Memphis, we recognized, the need to bring rigorous and equitable computer science education to ALL, amidst the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and racial injustice, was more urgent than ever.

To elevate the work that was being done, we hosted a virtual #CSforALL Commitments Showcase on Tuesday, November 17, 2020. During this event, we announced 165 new efforts to achieve computer science for all by 127 organizations. We highlighted the promising work in response to the impacts of COVID-19 and racial injustice on the computer science education movement. We kicked-off the showcase with Mitchel Resnick responding to kids’ (ages 3 to 14) questions about Scratch. See our five segments below:

  1. Pandemic Response: Decoding the Digital Divide. Featuring: Internet Hall-of-Famer Larry Irving and Mike Conley, NBA Point Guard, Utah Jazz.
  2. Design for Diversity: Designing Systems from the Beginning. Featured: Daryl Mitchell, actor & accessibility advocate and Irma Olguin, CEO, Bitwise Industries.
  3. Prepare the Solvers: Creating the Next Generation of Problem Solvers Not Process Followers. Featured: Dr. Bernard Harris, CEO, NMSI and former astronaut and Evan Spiegel — founder and CEO, Snapchat.
  4. Close the Gaps: Identify, Name and Close CS Gaps. Featured: Karlie Kloss, Kode with Klossy and Gebre Waddel, Sound Credit
  5. Racial Equity: Adversity to Action, Privilege to Progress. Featured: John B.King Jr., EdTrust and Brenda Wilkerson, AnitaB.org

We were excited that over 5,000 individuals across the globe attended our 2020 #CSforALL Commitments Showcase! Stay tuned for 2021 Summit announcements.

To wrap up our 2020 highlights, we won’t forget our partnership with Wonder Workshop for their ‘Wonder Workshop International STEAM Summit’ and the community-led collaboration for the 2020 Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) around #CSforSocialJustice. We can’t wait to see the partnerships and collaborations that 2021 will bring!

Thank you to the CSforALL community, our partners, and our funders for the continuous work in a mission we all believe in. Here’s to a positive, productive, and healthy 2021!

The national hub for the Computer Science for All movement, making high-quality computer science education an integral part of K-12 education in the US.

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