Computational modeling in Algebra, Physics & Data Science, for all students.

We craft research-based curricular modules for grades 6-12. Our materials reinforce core concepts from algebra, enabling non-CS teachers to adopt our introductory materials while delivering rigorous and engaging computing content drawn from CS classes at universities like Brown, WPI, and Northeastern.

Our introductory class can be integrated into a standalone CS or mainstream math class, and aligns with national and state math standards. And since every child takes math - regardless of gender or background - Bootstrap is one of the largest providers of formal CS education to girls and underrepresented students nationwide.

Our other modules model physics, data science, and sophisticated interactive programs, and can be integrated into Science, Math, Intro and even AP CS Principles courses. Teachers can mix-and-match content across various modules to fit their needs.

By leveraging the existing network of math teachers, nationwide, Bootstrap is built to scale. We work with school districts across the country, reaching hundreds of teachers and thousands of students each year. Most of our teachers have also attended a Bootstrap Workshop, where they received specialized training to deliver the class.

[Download: Bootstrap course descriptions]

Unlike Java, Python, Scratch or Javascript, functions and variables behave exactly the same way in Bootstrap that they do in your child's math book (learn more about the algebra-programming connection by watching our video). Uniquely, this means students explore the same mental model of mathematics when they program in Bootstrap as they do in math. By shifting classwork from abstract pencil-and-paper problems to a series of relevant programming problems using an appropriate language, Bootstrap demonstrates how algebra applies in the real world, using an exciting, hands-on project. Students in our introductory module build their own video games using pure mathematics. We use algebra as the vehicle for creating images and animations, and our materials are aligned with National and State standards for algebra. Students solve word problems to make a rocket fly (linear equations), respond to keypresses (piecewise functions) or explode when it hits a meteor (distance formula). In fact, this same technique has been successfully used at the university level for decades.

Bootstrap is backed by decades of research into computing and math education, and some studies have shown a positive impact on students' performance on standard, pencil-and-paper algebra tasks.

Knowing how to write code is good, but it doesn't make you a programmer. In addition to learning a full-strength programming language, Bootstrap teaches solid program design skills, such as stating input and types, writing test cases, and explaining code to others. After Bootstrap, these skills can be put to use in other programming languages, letting students build on what they've learned.

Bootstrap embraces the "low floor, no ceiling" approach to learning, by introducing students to a simple but powerful language and approach to programming. Students can build on what they already know as they move on to data structures, recursion, and numerous topics in computer science - without throwing away their tool or language.

We know that teachers are busy, and can't be expected to create every test, homework assignment, and rubric from scratch. Our curriculum is built for working teachers, and includes everything from detailed lesson plans to student workbooks, quizzes to homeworks, and vocabulary lists to warmup activities. We also support a thriving, inclusive community of teachers from around the country, so that teachers can get their questions answered quickly by their peers.

For schools and districts that are looking to add Computer Science, Bootstrap offers a uniquely flexible roadmap for adoption. Schools can offer rigorous, engaging computer science as part of their mainstream math class, without having to find room in the budget for a new teacher or room in the schedule for a new class. For schools that are ready to take the plunge into a dedicated CS course, we offer curricular modules in Algebra, Physics and Modeling, Lightweight Data Science, Data Structures, and Reactive Programming — with a smooth runway to college level material and textbooks.

Bootstrap is grateful to the National Science Foundation for their ongoing support for our research efforts, and we are proud to partner with the CS for All Consortium and CS4RI to bring our materials to students at the national and state level. We are a founding member of CSPdWeek, and even has chosen to build their curriculum based on Bootstrap! (Interested in how's adaptation is different?)