This past Monday, over 1200 NYC public school students went up to Columbia University for the second annual NYC Computer Science Opportunity Fair.
In 2014, at the first event of this kind, we had about 300 students attend. The fact that the number of students who take CS classes in a NYC public school and want to attend an event like this has gone up 4x in a year is testament to the great work that a handful of non-profits in partnership with the NYC Department of Education are doing to dramatically change the availability of CS classes in middle school and high school in NYC public schools.
This school year, 2014-2015, CS classes are being taught in over 100 NYC public schools to over 10,000 students. Given that there are over 1700 schools and 1.1 million students in NYC’s school system, there is a lot more work to be done. But considering that three years ago, only a few of the elite “test” schools, were offering such programs, I think there is a lot to be excited and encouraged about.
The financial sponsors who made this event possible were Microsoft (who hosted it last year), AOL, Facebook, Two Sigma, the NYC DOE and EDC, and CSNYC.
The following companies had booths where the students could learn about technical job opportunities in NYC that will be available to them if they continue their technical education through high school and college:
- Codesters, Inc.
- Floored Inc
- J.P. Morgan
- Jozii LLC
- onTarget Technologies Inc
- Stack AI
- Two Sigma
- Viridis Learning
The following higher education institutions had booths where the students could learn about where they can continue their technical education in college:
- Columbia University Office of Undergraduate Admissions
- Columbia University, Computer Science
- CUNY- City University of New York
- CUNY – Graduate Center
- NYU Courant
- NYU Game Center
- NYU Poly
- Pace University
And the following after school/weekend/summer programs had booths where the students could learn about where else they can continue their technical education:
- All Star Code
- Dream it. Code it. Win it.
- FIRST Robotics
- Flatiron School
- Girls Who Code
- Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship
- NYC Department of Youth and Community Development
- NYC Parks and Recreation – Computer Resource Centers
- The Flatiron School
- The Knowledge House
- The Makery
Here are a couple of my favorite tweets I saw on Monday, from NYC’s CTO and Cornell/Technion’s Director of K-12 Education. In them you can see both their excitement for what this means for the future of NYC and the kids themselves.