CodeCombat and Seeds of Light have launched a project to promote STEM skills and tech career readiness for students from marginalized racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in computer science.
The project’s first phase, started in November 2021 began with the launch of the Glow Youth Tech Fellows, a 6-month program providing scholarships to CodeCombat’s Live Online Classes product for 10 middle and high school students who underwent an application process and would not otherwise have been able to afford the cost. The Glow Fellows launched as a cohort and receive weekly coding classes, monthly virtual field trips with diverse STEM career mentors and an end of program virtual event to highlight their accomplishments as a group.
Each Glow Fellow will join a cohort of students building community while moving through the CodeCombat curriculum which includes: 6 months of game-based online coding education led by an expert instructor; monthly virtual group calls to meet and interact with diverse STEM professionals drawn from CodeCombat, Seeds of Light and other networks; and a virtual capstone event for fellows to present final coding projects and consider next steps.
CodeCombat has already made a significant impact in STEM education since its launch in 2013, with over 20 million learners, 140,000 teachers across 190 countries participating in its coding education curriculum. However, as a for profit company, CodeCombat encounters challenges when communities that it wishes to serve do not have the resources for its product offerings. That is where Seeds of Light comes in. “Our mission is to help every child who is interested in coding go through the program, regardless of their ability to pay”, said Dr. Edgar White, Director of Seeds of Light. “Through providing funding to students from underprivileged communities, we are empowering them to learn life changing skills that they can apply to their careers and significantly alter the trajectory of their socioeconomic growth in an exponentially positive way.”
With the first Glow Fellows cohort on the way, the reactions from the students have been overwhelmingly positive. Gerardo from Denver, who was attracted to the program due to his interest in video games and learning to code, said “The chance to learn a job skill that will be in need when I graduate High School is great, and it's fun to solve the puzzles with my friends.”
“With the Glow Fellows program off to a great start, we are now exploring how we can work with Seeds of Light to grow our community impact even further, and are excited about launching new initiatives in the coming months”, said Chris Kaimmer, Business Development Manager for CodeCombat.
Seeds of Light is a 501(c)(3), religious-centered charitable foundation focused on promoting the growth of positive momentum by focusing on small, but meaningful initiatives. Founded as a private foundation by a family of technology entrepreneurs, Seeds of Light is based in South Florida but with a national reach, as well as being active internationally. It focuses on projects that drive clear, measurable and positive change in the community. One of its core principles is that the modern world empowers people from diverse backgrounds to better their lives through the development of technological skills. This allows them to make a positive impact both in their professional life, but also in the world around them by using their newfound skills to create new and imaginative solutions to some of the world’s oldest problems like poverty, malnutrition, and depletion of natural resources. To accomplish this goal, Seeds of Light is specifically focused on STEM education across age groups, from young children to veterans retraining for new careers.
CodeCombat makes computer science programs for students to learn coding while playing a real game. Since 2013, over 20 million people have learned to code using CodeCombat and Ozaria, putting them among the most popular coding games in history. CodeCombat was founded in February 2013 by George Saines, Scott Erickson, Matt Lott, and Nick Winter, who had previously developed the language-learning application Skritter. The company is based in San Francisco, California.
Release ID: 89066931