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Bootstrap: Going Beyond Programming in After-School Computer Science


"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. Over the last eight years, we have deployed a content-rich introductory computing course to over a thousand middle-school students through after-school programs nationwide. Our program, Bootstrap, teaches students to program their own videogames in a way that connects deeply to in-school learning goals for algebra and coordinate geometry. Volunteers (college students or software professionals) teach Bootstrap through established after-school partners. This paper describes both Bootstrap and lessons we have learned about teaching computing effectively in after-school programs using volunteer teachers."