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Code Savvy - Summer Connections #4

Updated: Oct 2, 2020

This summer, we will use our newsletter to highlight a variety of people, organizations, and resources that are doing work to broaden participation and expand equitable and engaging computer science and STEM opportunities. We are honored to work in this space along with so many talented and passionate individuals and organizations and want to help bring attention to their work. 

this week’s spotlight: Code Savvy Values - Inclusivity and Diversity

Code Savvy values are inclusivity, diversity, community, empowerment, curiosity, and creativity.

This week we are highlighting inclusivity and diversity.

  • Inclusivity - We focus and continue to find new ways to improve on inclusive practices that interrupt and counteract gender, racial and economic bias and create a welcoming environment for all learners

  • Diversity - We believe in the importance of students and educators coming together from a variety of backgrounds because tomorrow’s tech professionals need to be reflective of all our communities.

Computer Science education is not equitably accessible in Minnesota's schools, and female-identifying students, low-income students, and students of color are particularly underserved. Of the 1,480 Minnesota students who took the AP Computer Science exam in 2017-18, only 21% of students were female, 26% were eligible for free or reduced lunch programs, and 8% were students of color (AP College Board Program Participation Data, 2018). Effecting change relative to this systemic issue of access needs to happen in partnership with schools and districts and their stakeholder groups: students and the teachers and administrators who work with students daily.

For almost a decade, Code Savvy has been a leader in interrupting and counteracting racial, economic, and gender gaps in computer learning for young people through coaching and supporting educators and by creating open, inclusive, and accessible technology and entrepreneurship programs that encourage kids to pursue their own passions, dreams, and careers. Our programs have reached more than 153 schools, over 3,300 educators, and 38,000 students in Minnesota.

One way we determine if our work is in line with our missions specifically with inclusivity and diversity is to track the school data on the demographics and percentage of students that qualify for free or reduced lunch. Code Savvy programs reach schools that have a high population of their student body that qualifies for free or reduced lunch. Of the schools that we serve, 22% of them have a student population that has greater than 48% of their students receiving free or reduced lunch.

School ethnicity demographics for Code Savvy programs as compared to Minnesota and the US are represented in the graph below. As you can see the diversity of the schools we serve is closely matched to the US population and in most cases are better than Minnesota’s population. We are also hard at work on developing ways to gather demographic data on the students and mentors we work with outside of school, so we can better evaluate our work and how well we are living out our values of diversity and inclusion.

Additionally, two Code Savvy programs, Technovation[MN] and Rebecca CoderDojo, are offered for female-identifying students only. This allows these students to work in an environment conducive to their own unique creativity and social needs.

We still have work to do to broaden equitable and engaging CS education in MN! Our new Partnership to CS Pathways project partners with schools and communities to bring aspects of all of our programs directly to students who represent the largest underrepresented demographic groups in CS.

This week's theme is: EMOJIS

July 17th is World Emoji Day!

This App Inventor tutorial will show you how to make a paint pot app. You can use this paint pot to draw emojis and maybe even create a new one! Remember, this is just a suggestion; use your own creative genius to create a personalized project!

We hope you create a CS project in honor of National Parks & Recreation Month! If you do, please share it with us.

share your CS to Go projects!

How to Share: We invite CS to Go with Code Savvy participants to consider sharing your projects publicly with the Code Savvy and greater #MNCodes community via video with Flipgrid. We can’t wait to see what you create! Please be sure to follow online safety guidelines and get adult permission before sharing. You can find our Privacy Policy here.

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