Engineering a Scalable, Rigorous and Equitable K-12 CS Curriculum - DLS Talk by Emmanuel Schanzer (Bootstrap)


Fred Kaiser Building (2332 Main Mall), Room 2020/2030


What would it take to scale computer science (CS) education to reach every child? Not in the next few decades, but in the next 5 years? Adding a new subject into the core curriculum requires thinking big, and there are many design constraints that lie outside of the CS content itself. All too often, however, we approach CS Education as an engagement problem, with a long history of gimmicky programs that disappear when results fail to appear, or run into a buzz-saw of real-world constraints faced by students, teachers, and administrators in the trenches.

In this talk, Emmanuel Schanzer of Bootstrap ( discusses the problem from the point of view of a 12 year project, which has reached 100k+ students across thousands of schools, and describes a novel approach that routes around the challenges at a fraction of the cost and time by shifting the constraints from "where CS fits" to "what CS we teach". By taking a sober approach to CS Education, programs can grow quickly and cheaply, using the existing infrastructure of teachers and course requirements that already impact every child. He will also discuss how this approach is being used right now in the US, and share the results and lessons learned from over a decade of research.


Dr. Emmanuel Schanzer spent several years as a program manager and developer before becoming a public high school teacher and middle school academic coach in Boston.  He is the founder and creator of Bootstrap, which he first designed as a curriculum for his own students.  He has long been involved in connecting educators and technology, connecting parties at the Computer Science Teachers Association, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and at universities across the country.  He holds degrees in computer science and curriculum development, and completed his doctoral studies at Harvard with a research focus on using programming to teach algebra.

Host:  Gregor Kiczales, UBC Computer Science

Here is a link to his talk:

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