K12 Computer Science Initiative

Integrates Computer Science to Engage Students in 21st-Century Skills

This groundbreaking K–12 Computer Science Initiative is smashing stereotypes about “who can be good at computer science.” By providing computer science and critical thinking skills to every Bellevue School District student, starting in kindergarten, computer science and computational thinking is becoming a native language for all students, opening learning and career pathways to girls and historically underrepresented students who have traditionally fallen through the cracks.

In the 2016–17 school year, this Foundation-supported program helped 5,800 elementary and middle school students advance their computer science skills, and gave teachers the resources to engage 12,718 students in Hour of Code activities. Over the past year, 200 more teachers have been trained to integrate Computer Science education into their core classes and subjects. For the 2017–18 school year, the Foundation is committed to providing $100,000 in funding to advance the initiative.

This 5-year initiative is developing a District Pathway for K–12 computer science with an emphasis on the inclusion of at-risk or underrepresented groups, including girls and students of color. It includes both computer science lessons in core science and mathematics courses that all students take and additional computer science electives at the secondary level. The Bellevue School district has entered into partnerships with Code.org to provide professional development for teachers and partnerships with Code.org and TechSmartKids to develop culturally relevant curriculum. That curriculum, developed and tested here by Bellevue teachers, now is being made available via CS4AllKids.org, benefiting other school districts as well.