In 2015, San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) became one of the first cities in the US to include computer science requirements across their whole curriculum. It’s a big shift with wide-reaching implications: some teachers need retraining in computer science, and students want help from experts when they get stuck. That’s where Code Nation comes in, a non-profit dedicated to career readiness in the Bay Area and New York City.
Industry mentors and public schools collaborate
Code Nation, formerly ScriptEd, closes the skills gap by matching up high school classrooms with volunteer teachers from industry. Over three years, students experience a high-quality curriculum, a paid internship, and they develop projects on GitHub that connect to their personal passions.
The volunteer teachers—some who teach as much as twice a week—are all professional software developers who want to give back. The 300+ volunteers between New York and the Bay Area plan events, and help students prepare for interviews, making a significant difference in their students’ lives.
In the 2018-2019 school year, Code Nation will reach 1,374 students across 46 high schools in New York City and San Francisco.
A curriculum built and improved through GitHub
At the center of Code Nation’s curriculum are web technologies that students can demonstrate as soon as they leave the classroom. At first, students learn that the web is something they can change and build themselves through tinkering with sites like the New York Times.
GitHub is a core part of their curriculum in the second year when students start working with repositories that contain starter code.
But Code Nation also uses GitHub to produce their curriculum and they revise it every year. A group of 20-30 core contributors work together to improve and refine the teaching materials, including volunteers from Google and from the Flatiron School.
“By providing students with a high degree of structured content and the support of volunteers, we can provide them access to building meaningful things,” says Peter Jablonski, one of the staff members at the non-profit organization.
Enabling real impact
The results speak for themselves: since Code Nation started helping schools six years ago, 74 percent of their alumni are currently working in a STEM field, and 63 percent are in computer science. That’s demonstrable impact, and we’re honored Code Nation uses GitHub to do it.
If you’re training next generation of developers, offering computer science for the first time, or expanding your department, we can help—our mission is to equip students with the best tools, events, and training to shape the next generation of software development.
The GitHub Education program offers real-world tools to schools at no charge, meaning high schools can use the same premium tools and workflows our enterprise customers use.