The Future is Written in Code: How You Can Inspire Future Computer Science Innovators

This year BoSTEM is overjoyed to announce our partnership with Digital Ready to offer students throughout the Boston area an innovative AP Computer Science course that emphasizes social justice in technology, creative problem solving and career exposure. We have built an incredible classroom experience in partnership with cutting edge industry professionals that will allow students to graduate with a professional digital portfolio and exposure to a number of careers within computer science. Keep scrolling to see an activity we did that you can inspire your child/student, an invitation to a computer science themed day, how to apply and how to volunteer to inspire future innovators.

A screenshot of our virtual avatars in Pragli on the first day of class

Apply for Our AP Computer Science Class and Become a Future Innovator

Our Computer science courses strives to bridge educational inequities in STEM. Only 30% of high schools in the Boston area offer AP computer science, most of those schools are private or prep schools. Most of these courses have enrollment primarily by white males. Our AP Computer Science course is different. The course is free, open to the public, and has 85% of students that identify as women, Black or Latinx. 

Data from Study in 2018 by Michael Conti

Even though classes have already begun we still have room for your student/child to take part in our AP Computer Science Studio! They will learn how to create robots, develop mobile applications, understand programming languages and so much more. Set your child/student up to be an innovator by interacting with cutting edge technology and social justice texts. They also have the opportunity to interact with industry professionals through career chats and “pod” creative challenges. Classes are from 2-5pm Wednesday and Friday. We want to give every student the opportunity to succeed in STEM!



Volunteer to Share your Career Experience and Inspire the Next Generation of STEM Professionals

Want to support our future innovators? We have plenty of opportunities for you to share your industry experience with our students, help design small pod challenges, and inspire the next generation of STEM professionals. Our students have indicated that the most valuable part of our AP Computer Science program is our “Career Chats” where we have volunteers who work in computer science or related fields open up about their experiences. Most recently, we had a talk given by Spencer Hommel of Avanti Financial Group open up about his experience with imposter syndrome.

computer science talk
Screenshot of Mr. Hommel doing a recorded STEM Chat that was showed to students (due to COPPA requirements we can not show a picture of the volunteer interacting with students in class) 

The students asked him a myriad of questions about professional development, mental health and even League of Legends! Spencer Hommel said about the experience, “It’s always great to connect with students who are in the same position I was in several years ago. I am a huge advocate for easing the transition into the STEM field in any way possible. I hope the students had just as good a time as I did, and look forward to any future involvement with them!“. We are always recruiting volunteers to give Career chats to students from 2:00-3:00 pm EST every Wednesday (excluding school holidays) or at your convenience!



Try this Activity at Home or in the Classroom: Social Justice Coding Activity

Can’t join our AP Computer Science class, but want to inspire your child/student to start ethical coding? Try our Social Justice Meme Challenge! Inspired by Vidcode’s #DealWithIt hour of code we had students create memes of their favorite social justice figure. 

computer science memeAn example of our Student’s Sojourner Truth meme.

The Vidcode platform allows for a JavaScript sandbox feature that allows students to script much like in other sandbox platforms. Unlike other hour of code activities it feels like a more realistic coding environment and less gamified, but at the same time creates a fun output that students can share on their own social media and feel passionate about.

computer science coding memeA Student’s meme about Frederick Douglas.

The Sandbox feature gives students the vocabulary to explain their coding such as the terms var, emphasizing x and y scales, explaining if statements, and looping functions. Students do not have to have any prior programming knowledge to start coding. 

computer science rosa park memeA Student’s meme about Rosa Parks

We had about 25 students participate in the activity and we did it to give students a taste of how to code before the proper AP Computer Science class. Of those 25 students, about 10 of them decided to attend class. Clearly, this activity sparks the interest of our future innovators! Also, while in the class all of those 10 students have exceeded the minimum number of course units they needed to complete within CodeHS. Given the success please try out this activity in your own classroom and home! 

See the full instructions for our meme coding challenge to bring to your classroom or try it at home here.

Join us for Ada Lovelace’s Birthday: Watch a movie and try out coding live with us!

ada lovelace computer science meme

Want to inspire your child or student to begin coding or a future in the tech industry? Get them started by introducing them to the history of computer science with the icon Ada Lovelace. Introduce your child/student to their new hero Ada Lovelace the “first computer programmer”! We will be watching a movie live with actual female computer scientists where your child can have any question they want answered about a life in tech and doing a computer science activity inspired by Ada Lovelace. 

Find information about the event happening throughout the day on December 10th here and pencil it down on your calendar today! 

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