Hyland and TECH CORPS partner to expand interest and access to computer science education

Hyland is a sponsor of TECH CORPS.

When asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?,” TECH CORPS National Executive Director Lisa Chambers wants to ensure all children can consider a career in computer science and technology.

The Columbus, Ohio-based organization creates and teaches computer science and technology programs for K-12 students to ensure all children have access to high-quality computer science learning experiences. Its programs range from four-hour workshops to summer camps to immersion experiences where participants can earn industry-recognized credentials.

“We can’t do this work alone,” Chambers said. “That’s why it’s so important to work with partners who are not only aligned with our mission, but actively collaborate with us to advance that mission.”

And that’s exactly the type of partner Hyland is, she said.

“We’re so pleased Hyland took the time to develop a truly strategic and intentional long-term partnership with us.”

One way Hyland is helping to advance TECH CORPS’ mission is to sponsor its program for this year’s Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) that is delivered in partnership with the Teaching & Learning Collaborative.

Learn about Hyland’s new five-year partnership with TECH CORPS.

I am CUTOUT4 Computer Science

That’s the TECH CORPS program name and message for this year’s CSEdWeek — a national movement to raise awareness about computer science education among K-12 students, to advocate for equity in computer science education and to celebrate contributions to the field.

More than 5,000 third and fourth graders in 10 U.S. states will participate in TECH CORPS’ 2021 CSEdWeek program from December 6-10. The CUTOUT4CS curriculum — designed to be easily taught by any teacher — shows the connection between computer science and mathematics. It also utilizes a fun, user-friendly tool to teach basic programming language.

To incentivize teacher participation, Hyland is sponsoring three $1,000 prize drawings to supply winning teachers’ classrooms with computer science materials.

Why focus on third and fourth grade students?

TECH CORPS looked to research when it chose to focus its CSEdWeek program on elementary school teachers, Chambers said. Research shows when children, particularly girls, are exposed to computer science at an early age, they are significantly more likely to pursue it as a degree or career. Additionally, there are an abundance of computer science programs at the high-school level, but fewer for K-8 students.

Giving kids exposure to people working in computer science in their community can open up new opportunities and ideas about what’s possible.

The value of a safe space to tinker

It’s common to feel fear or anxiety with anything unfamiliar, and that’s why TECH CORPS programs create the perfect safe space for children to tinker — where failure can be part of the process. Its programs alleviate a problem Chambers often hears: That kids don’t want to sign up for a computer science class because they’re afraid it might negatively impact their GPA.

Building a diverse mix of children in its programs is also part of creating that safe, comfortable space, Chambers said. That’s another area where the Hyland partnership adds value. Beyond our industry expertise, Hyland employees who lead or participate in TECH CORPS programs show students that there are people in their community doing this work.

“Oftentimes children make decisions about what they want to be when they grow up based on their immediate environment,” Chambers said, noting that sometimes that doesn’t include someone in the technology space. “Giving kids exposure to people working in computer science in their community can open up new opportunities and ideas about what’s possible.”

“I think corporate America has a great responsibility in helping to educate the next generation,” said John Phelan, executive vice president and chief product officer at Hyland, who is a member of the TECH CORPS national board of directors. “We have to make sure we create opportunities for everyone to learn computer science.”

Learn more about our partnership with TECH CORPS and tune into its recent Founder’s Focus Podcast for a discussion about delivering inclusive tech experiences to K-12 students.

Ciara Simiele

Ciara Simiele

Ciara Simiele is an experienced writer who has covered a variety of topics and industries, including B2B, technology, higher education, nonprofit and more.

... read more about: Ciara Simiele