Facebook’s new TechPrep website is intended to empower more African American and Latino children to learn about computer programming and coding, and to encourage them to pursue careers in the tech field. Featuring resources in Spanish and English, the website assists students and their caregivers in the exploration of the IT field, describes types of IT professional activities, and details the competences of software developers. The TechPrep hub offers community events, books, and games to introduce parents and students to the IT world. Resources are available for every age group and skill level. To extend the program’s visibility into communities, Facebook has scheduled a roadshow in US cities that is due in the upcoming months.
In smaller rural schools, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education can face troublesome barriers. In our K–12 district of 730 students, we have many of the common obstacles, including limited funds, no extra faculty, and an already overloaded class schedule. These three join arms to block us from using any of the really cool programs we’d like to. Other institutions sing praises of cutting-edge programs and share their successes. Meanwhile, rural schools are trying to figure out how to educate equally deserving kids in STEM.
Google’s Kick Start challenge offers coders around the world the chance to develop and hone their programing skills through online-hosted competition rounds. The three-hour rounds feature a variety of algorithmic challenges, all developed by Google engineers so that students get a sense of the technical skills needed for a career at Google.