This Map Connects Kids to Computer Science

This Map Connects Kids to Computer Science

MapA new interactive map produced by Chicago City of Learning (CCOL) helps parents and kids find computer science-related summer opportunities in Chicago, including coding camps, robotics clubs, and online challenges.

With funding from the CME Group Foundation, CCOL mapped more than 150 out-of-school computer science opportunities provided by over 30 different organizations, effectively making CCOL’s database a one-stop shop for kids and adults to discover innovative, affordable, and accessible programs.  

In addition to helping connect youth, this effort raises the visibility of computer science learning and provides valuable data to Chicago, schools, and communities. The map, for example, indicates both areas of the city that have abundant opportunities, as well as regions that lack programs.

Moreover, when researchers at Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy analyzed the data, they found far fewer programs for middle school students than for those in elementary and high school. Additionally, while Chicago has a wide range of introductory computer science programs, significantly fewer intermediate or advanced programs are available.

"We hope that this effort will make it easier for youth, caring adults, schools, and communities to see and tap into existing learning opportunities,” said Sybil Madison Boyd, director of Chicago City of Learning and research associate at Northwestern’s Office for Community Education Partnerships. 

"Even more important though is our ability to start identifying pathways for youth to develop skills and follow their passions in computer science.”

The map is an integral part of developing pipelines into computer science and technology-related jobs, said Kassie Davis, executive director of the CME Group Foundation. “It helps us understand how the city is supporting all youth in developing critical new literacies,” she said.

The computer science map complements The CME Group Foundation’s investment in Chicago Public School’s Computer Science for All initiative by giving children more opportunities to connect to computer science education both inside and outside of the classroom.




By Nora Mabie
Last Modified: 6/27/18