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Impact

Diversity and Demographics

In AY 2015-16, Bootstrap was in at least 17 states nationwide and reached nearly 15,000 students.

On average, our teachers report just over 43% female and 46% under-represented minority students in their Bootstrap classes.

By our calculation, that's roughly 6,500 girls and 7,000 minority students every year.

Student Learning

Teacher Profile

75% of Bootstrap teachers hold no CS degree (n=96)
75% of Bootstrap instructors are non-CS teachers (n=79)
99% of Bootstrap teachers would recommend it (n=70)
99% of Bootstrap teachers would teach it again (n=70)

Source: McClanahan Associates published an evaluation of our student- and teacher-level outcomes, with analysis of math outcomes, teacher experiences, strengths and pain points.

Publications

Outcomes

Transferring Skills at Solving Word Problems from Computing to Algebra Through Bootstrap ::
ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE), 2015
“Many educators have tried to leverage computing or programming to help improve students' achievement in mathematics. However, several hopes of performance gains — particularly in algebra — have come up short.”

The Influence of Teaching Programming on Learning Mathematics ::
Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (SITE), 2013
“A pre and post mathematics inventory was used to measure the impact teaching this course (which used a video game development programming pedagogy) had on student understanding of mathematics. The findings from the study suggest that student understanding of functions and variables did increase after participating in the course.”

Our Curricular Philosophy

Bootstrap: Going Beyond Programming in After-School Computer Science ::
SPLASH Education Symposium (SPLASH-E), 2013
“Adding computer science to already-packed middle- and high-school curricula can be difficult; after-school programs offer an enticing alternative to broadening student exposure to computing.”

Why Computer Science Doesn't Matter ::
Communications of the ACM (CACM), 2009
“Aligning computer science with high school mathematics can help turn it into an essential subject for all students. ”

Our Technology Edge

Whalesong: Running Racket in the Browser ::
Dynamic Languages Symposium (DLS), 2013
“Implementing this model in a browser's JavaScript is not trivial. The main obstacles lie in asynchronicity and event-driven event-loops.”

WeScheme: The Browser is Your Programming Environment ::
Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE), 2011
“WeScheme is being used successfully by students, and is especially valuable in schools that have prohibitions on installing new software or lack the computational demands of more intensive programming environments.”

Measuring the Effectiveness of Error Messages Designed for Novice Programmers ::
ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE), 2011
“We present a rubric (which is not language specific) to evaluate student responses, apply it to a courseworth of student lab work, and describe what we have learned about using the rubric effectively. We also discuss some concrete observations on the effectiveness of these messages.”

A Functional I/O System ::
ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Functional Programming (ICFP), 2009
“Once middle school students are hooked on this form of programming, our curriculum provides a smooth path for them from pre-algebra to freshman courses in college on object-oriented design and theorem proving.”

Prior work from "Program by Design"

[Bootstrap is grateful for the tremendous research done by the Program by Design team.]

DrScheme: A Programming Environment for Scheme ::
Journal of Functional Programming, 2002
“The environment is especially useful for students, because it has a tower of syntactically restricted variants of Scheme that are designed to catch typical student mistakes and explain them in terms the students understand.”

DrScheme: A Programming Environment for Scheme ::
Journal of Functional Programming, 2002
“The environment is especially useful for students, because it has a tower of syntactically restricted variants of Scheme that are designed to catch typical student mistakes and explain them in terms the students understand.”

The Structure and Interpretation of the Computer Science Curriculum ::
Journal of Functional Programming, 2004
“In this pearl, we propose an alternative role for functional programming in the first-year curriculum.”

The TeachScheme! Project: Computing and Programming for Every Student ::
Computer Science Education, 2004
“The TeachScheme! Project aims to reform three aspects of introductory programming courses in secondary schools.”