Founded by Lynn Langit in 2009, TKP teaches middle school students, specially girls, basic computer programming skills. The TKP program provides access to free cowas founded in 2009 by Lynurseware as well as guidance for teachers and training events across the U.S. TKP addresses the need to stimulate middle school kids, especially girls, to consider careers in programming, science and math. Recently Lynn reached out to us to share a wonderful story of David Coopersmith, a teacher in California, who decided to start a computer science program for his 8th grade class. After researching different options, he found TKP's website and thought the courseware "looked great & easy to use”. He read all of the materials, watched the videos, tried the courseware out for himself and thought it was "usable, fun, and well-designed".He started teaching the TKP Java course in September and has had positive response from the students. Here’s what David has to say:
"The kids LOVE it"
"We are going to do this all year"
"The other teachers are asking me to teach them, so that they can use this courseware in their classroom too."
Aside from the many teachers, like David, who use TKP training in their classrooms independently, TKP is currently piloting and monitoring this program in public schools. Ultimately the goal of TKP is to work systematically with more schools and enable more kids, especially girls, to become professional developers.
Research has confirmed that middle school is the time when students decide whether they will succeed in STEM subjects. Evidence also shows that it is during this period that adolescent girls, in particular, are prone to form negative perceptions of computer science and programming. Although teenage girls are now using computers and the Internet at rates similar to their male peers, they are five times less likely to consider a technology-related career or plan on taking post-secondary technology classes.” **
TKP courseware has been designed and tested for this key audience of middle school girls and boys (ages 10-14) and to-date has been taught to over 4,000 students with impressive results. Programs have attracted a majority of girls, many of whom indicate they will continue on to take AP computer science in high school. Some of the TKP graduates also shared that they would have never considered pursuing tech related coursework before the TKP training. Middle school girls who took a TKP training session have started a programming club to continue learning together. Programming skills can provide students with employment opportunities, as well as contribute to the technological expertise of the economies where they live and work.
** AAUW report on gender – http://www.aauw.org/files/2013/02/Why-So-Few-Women-in-Science-Technology-Engineering-and-Mathematics.pdf).
(Images courtesy of Mr. David Coopersmith)
The kids LOVE it. The other teachers are asking me to teach them, so that they can use this courseware in their classroom too. David Coopersmith