The Colorado Computer Science Regional Program

Code.org has selected mindSpark Learning as its Colorado Regional Program partner, and is supporting our organization to help spread computer science in a local, sustainable fashion. The goal of the Regional Partner program is to support mindSpark Learning in becoming the K-12 computer science hub for Colorado. Our organization offers unique professional learning opportunities in computer science for educators and we are working toward building a strong local community and awareness around computer science. 

White House.jpeg

CONNECT

Serve as the Colorado hub for PreK-12 computer science including schools, educators, leaders, and organizations.



Build partnerships with local districts and schools to increase student access to computer science courses.

Teachers Having Fun.jpg

DEVELOP

Organize and host quality, local workshops for teachers implementing Code.org’s elementary school, high school and middle school programs, with Code.org-trained facilitators.

Provide tools and resources to local school administrators and counselors, through specialized workshops.

roshni_blog_031.jpg

SUSTAIN

Establish, grow, and sustain a local community of computer science educators through computer science fairs and community events.


For more information we encourage interested community members to check out our Regional Partner One Pager with more detailed information.

The K - 12 Computer Science Learning Continuum

Timeline.png

In partnership with Code.org, we provide free curriculum, resources, and school support to all K-12 students. Whether it's a kindergartener just starting to learn algorithms to a high schooler preparing for the AP Computer Science Exam, we have phenomenal resources that are proven to equip students for success. Learn more about the free Code.org Curriculum provided below.

 

WHY COMPUTER SCIENCE?

CO Data 1.png
 

Current Colorado Computer Science Statistics:

  • Colorado currently has 13,517 open computing jobs (2.9 times the average demand rate in Colorado).
  • The average salary for a computing occupation in CO is $95,050, which is significantly higher than the average salary in the state ($51,180).
  • The existing open jobs alone represent a $1,284,790,850 opportunity in terms of annual salaries.
  • Colorado had only 785 computer science graduates in 2015; only 15% were female.
  • Only 780 high school students in Colorado took the AP Computer Science Exam in 2016.
    • Only 19% were female
    • Only 92 students were Hispanic or Latino
    • Only 14 students were Black
    • Only 2 students were Native American or Alaska Native
    • Only 3 students were Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.
  • Only 53 schools in CO (14% of CO schools with AP programs) offered the AP Computer Science course in 2015-2016. There are fewer AP exams taken in computer science than in any other STEM subject area.

Computer science drives job growth and innovation throughout our economy and society. Computing occupations are the number 1 source of all new wages in the U.S. and make up two-thirds of all projected new jobs in STEM fields, making Computer Science one of the most in-demand college degrees. And computing is used all around us and in virtually every field. In other words, it’s foundational knowledge that all students need. Unfortunately,  computer science is marginalized throughout education. Fewer than half of U.S. schools offer any computer science courses and only 8% of STEM graduates study it. We need to improve access for all students, including groups who have traditionally been underrepresented.

     
    CO Osmo.jpg

    Year One Cohort

    JUly 2017 - June 2018

    16 Middle School teachers and 33 High School teachers joined mindSpark Learning for the annual Code.org TeacherCon in Phoenix, Arizona. They experienced a week long professional learning event exploring computer science curriculum, resources and more while connecting with other educators from the Northwest US Region. They are now spending the next year -- into June 2018 -- implementing CS with support from mindSpark Learning.

    Code Sticky.png

    Year Two Cohort

    JUne 2018 - June 2019

    mindSpark Learning will host the second year cohort with a plan to expand professional learning efforts to an additional 64 Middle School teachers and 64 High School Teachers. The first-ever Code.org Colorado TeacherCon will be held at mindSpark Learning's cutting-edge Professional Learning facility, and will be another week-long CS experience unlike any other. If you would like to join our Year 2 Cohort, then click on the button below: 

    COMMUNITY EVENTS

    2017 & BEYOND

    Beginning in July of 2017, we are committed to hosting a variety of community events throughout the year aimed at educating students, parents, educators and Colorado citizens alike in Computer Science. Some of the opportunities include:

    • Computer Science Fair (Fall of 2019)

    WHY SHOULD YOU PARTNER WITH US?

    Learning computer science empowers young people to compete in the global economy and pursue careers across all sectors because it teaches students computational thinking and problem solving skills applicable in any industry. Our students want to learn computer science and their schools will soon be equipped with a high powered curriculum to guide them. However, each classroom needs access to leading experts in a variety of fields so students can be guided through their projects and develop authentic solutions to trending industry topics. Without businesses and industry partners at the table, we cannot develop, grow and sustain a thriving computer science community, climate and culture in Colorado (CO).

    WHAT A PARTNERSHIP LOOKS LIKE

    VOLUNTEER TIME

    With nearly 50 classrooms directly engaged in the 2017-18 school year we have over 1500 students working on capstone projects that revolve around solving real-world problems. We're looking to provide one-on-one support to each student by connecting them with business visionaries that can consult with them as challenges arise.

    DONATE / SUPPORT

    Partners also exemplify exceptional support by helping us make the program sustainable. This is done by supporting the continued training of additional educators in computer science, and helping them take their students on field trips to industry partners, attend professional learning experiences and ultimately bring computer science to Colorado.

    PROVIDE RESOURCES

    With over 43 different school districts -- comprised of Urban, Suburban and Rural communities -- representing our first cohort, there is inevitably a diversity of needs in each classroom. We are looking for businesses to help provide resources like: robotics kits, coding software, computing hardware and more, so that we can fulfill the diverse needs of our students. 

     

    CURRENT PARTNERS

    teach_wonder_logo_rbg.png
    SpheroEdu-Logo-fullGradient_SCREEN.png
    Gill Foundation Logo.jpg
    ColoTech_vertLogoCMYK no ball.png
    couragionLogoHorizontalColorLarge.png
    …we have to make sure all our kids are equipped for the jobs of the future – which means not just being able to work with computers, but developing the analytical and coding skills to power our innovation economy.
    — President Obama, Weekly Address, January 30, 2016
    Right now there are jobs being unfilled in those areas, and they’re good paying jobs. They have the opportunity to make a very, very good wage and have the opportunity to grow over time, to have a salary up to six figures
    — Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran, CBS 4 News, April 24th, 2017
    Girls are our future leaders. Computer Science is a great way to break the barrier for people that may otherwise not think that they’re inclined toward mathematics or coding because it’s not really required.”
    — Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran, CBS 4 News, February 3rd, 2017

    Computer Science Resources You Can Use Right Away

    We are committed to continuing to update this webpage with the latest resources including reading materials, literature, software and innovative technologies that are relevant and that aim to take the success of our community to the next level. Please contact us if you find an innovative resource that needs to be showcased and shared across the Colorado region.