Recently, we were invited to speak to a group of very young app developers.
They are part of the ideaSpark program – a 14-week course in computer science and 21st-century skill development for students ages 7-14. The program empowers teams to create their bold ideas through collaborative coding sessions.
It is run by “Bold Idea”, a Dallas-based non-profit that allows student teams to work on a semester-long project that culminates in a Demo Day hosted by North Texas’ renowned Bottle Rocket Studios, a services firm for brand driven mobile solutions.
We enjoyed our time with them and were impressed with their questions about the 1st Minute Mobile App. Bold Idea sees the day when students are making a real impact by building technologies that address problems in their communities, and when they have more options for part-time jobs, including the role of freelance web developer.
Robyn Brown, CEO and Co-Founder of Bold Idea, invited me to speak to them about our app, our company, and how we got started. The first question asked to the audience was, “How many people do you know at your school who have parents who speak another language?” Japanese, French, and Mandarin were among some of the languages they mentioned. We discussed the prevalence of language barriers and how new technology is allowing first responders to better serve our increasingly diverse communities.
- No state currently requires students to take a computer science (CS) course to graduate from high school.
- Only 10% of American high schools offer Advanced Placement (AP) CS classes.
- In 2010, only 14,517 students took the AP CS test, compared to the 194,784 students who took the AP calculus test.
- Less than one-third of schools nationwide count a CS class toward a STEM requirement.
- Lower income schools are less likely to offer CS. Students from these schools don’t even have access to after-school programs.
- Gender diversity in CS is still a problem, and while there is a lot of movement by many organizations to correct that, there is still a long way to go.
- Over the past 20 years, CS is the only field that has shown a decrease in student participation, from 25% to 19%. (source: http://changetheequation.org/half-empty)
In their effort to empower young minds to execute bold ideas as a team through the power of coding, they’ve made an impact since their founding in mid-2015.
- 105 Students served
- 59 Volunteer mentors
- 48% Male, 52% Female
We wish them the best of luck as they continue to impact young lives. If you’d like to assist with their mission or refer a student, please visit their “Get Involved” page.
Here you can learn how to: