PALO ALTO, California, April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
Partnership Will Help Train Thousands of New CS Teachers in Support of the Nationwide CS for All Initiative
Infosys Foundation USA today announced its CS for All community giving model, a new private-public-community collaboration that builds on partnerships with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and DonorsChoose.org to provide as many as 2,000 teachers with computer science professional development.
Infosys Foundation USA and NSF have partnered to define an end-to-end approach to computer science education, developing new evidence-based curricula along with sustainable funding mechanisms to ensure teachers are trained effectively in computer science instruction. NSF and Infosys Foundation USA have together committed $6 million to this effort.
For its part, NSF will continue to pilot and expand professional development approaches in computer science within schools across the United States. Infosys Foundation USA will match community-funded donations for professional development training made through DonorsChoose.org.
Harnessing the power of crowd-funding, Infosys Foundation USA and DonorsChoose.org are providing local communities with the means to sponsor computer science professional development in their schools. Parents and other citizen donors will be able to directly impact the communities that they care about through their contributions. Teachers will also have the option to request a stipend for additional financial support for their training courses. The funds will impact up to 60,000 students in the first academic year and directly influence CS curriculum within public schools.
This collaboration is part of Infosys Foundation USA's mission to broaden access to computer science in all public schools in the country. This program will especially benefit teachers and students in districts with significant funding challenges and limited or no access to computer science education.
"This CS for All community giving model pioneers a sustainable funding approach that puts the power back in the hands of the stakeholders - teachers, students, citizens, and especially parents." says Vandana Sikka, Chairperson, Infosys Foundation USA. "Skills learned through CS education are essential for success in tomorrow's workforce. Investing in CS professional development and training the teachers creates a multiplier effect that expands the learning opportunities for our students especially in under-served communities. The crowd-funding dimension of this initiative has the potential to be transformational. It accelerates the impact of this public-private funding and enables us to solve the CS teacher shortage in a unique new way."
NSF has long supported efforts to develop, pilot and assess course materials and models of professional development for teaching CS. The new partnership will enable more teachers to access some of these evidence-based frameworks, including Exploring Computer Science (ECS), CS Principles and Bootstrap, developed by leading educators and researchers at six universities across the U.S.: Brown University, Trinity College, University of California at Los Angeles, University of California at Berkeley, University of Oregon and University of Texas at Austin.
"By piloting approaches for effective professional development for teachers, we aim to realize the CS for All goal of making rigorous and engaging computer science education available to every student in the nation," said Jan Cuny, Program Director for Computing Education at the National Science Foundation. "This new model could allow many more teachers to bring quality computer science to their schools."
DonorsChoose.org has facilitated support for public school teachers across the country through public crowd-funding for more than a decade. This model will leverage DonorsChoose.org's established network of 400,000 teachers and 2 million citizen donors to create an easy framework for businesses and philanthropic organizations to fund professional development opportunities in their local communities.
"Computer Science skills are a critical part of a 21st century education, essential for preparing students for the careers of the future," said Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose.org. "We're so excited to work with Infosys Foundation USA to prepare teachers and expand course offerings in areas most-in-need of CS education opportunities."
About National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
Founded in 2000, DonorsChoose.org makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. Teachers at over two-thirds of all the public schools in America have created project requests, and more than 2 million people have donated $425 million to projects that inspire them. Over 18 million students - most from low-income communities, and many in disaster-stricken areas - have received books, art supplies, field trips, technology, and other resources that they need to learn.
About Infosys Foundation USA
Infosys Foundation USA is focused on bridging the digital divide in America by supporting high quality computer science education and coding skills with a particular focus on underrepresented communities. It aims to give children and young adults the skills they need to become creators, not just consumers, of technology. In pursuit of this mission the Foundation has partnered with internationally acclaimed non-profits and institutions like Code.org, New York Academy of Sciences, DonorsChoose.org, and the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University. In addition, Infosys Foundation USA committed a million dollars to the Infy Maker Awards to inspire makers across the U.S. to demonstrate creative excellence in making projects with genuine impact.
SOURCE Infosys Foundation USA