Most high schools in the United States do not offer computer science classes. Yet the field is driving a major portion of the global economy.
Tech companies and educators are finding new ways to bridge the gap. One of these solutions, TEALS, is opening doors to new opportunities for students in Manson, Washington and across the country.
TEALS is a grassroots program, supported by Microsoft Philanthropies, that pairs computer science professionals with classroom educators to team-teach computer science in U.S. high schools. Over two years, classroom teachers gradually take over the responsibility of teaching the course on their own.
“I knew how to teach to students, but the computer science, that was where I really needed some training,” says Susan Sears, a Manson Junior Senior High School teacher. “It’s been great to be able to learn alongside the students.”
Today, TEALS serves 225 schools across 25 states, plus Washington, D.C., through nearly 700 volunteers from more than 300 companies across the tech industry, including local companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Expedia, Concur, Zillow, Google and Tableau. In the 2016-2017 school year, TEALS served 9,000 students.
“Trying to connect kids to teachers who have expertise in all the different things that students are interested in can be challenging,” says Manson School District Superintendent Matt Charlton. “So the way we beat that is to go outside of our schools.”
Here in Washington, half of all Computer Science AP tests taken last year were by TEALS students.
TEALS also teaches remotely to schools where there is no local volunteer available to go into the classroom, including more than 20 classes statewide, from the Kitsap Peninsula to Eastern Washington.
If you are a computer science professional, retiree or graduate student, you are encouraged to sign up to volunteer. If you would like to join national efforts to promote computer science in U.S. classrooms, please visit The Computer Science Education Coalition.
TEALS, founded in 2009, helps high schools build and grow sustainable computer science programs through partnerships between classroom teachers and tech industry volunteers.