Two local software developers involved with Women in Technology Wisconsin are taking leadership roles in the local Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) movement. Erin Draheim, Skyline Technologies, and Nicolette Spear, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, have applied and have been accepted to bring technology education to New London and Hortonville schools.
TEALS, a program created by Microsoft, helps high schools build and grow sustainable computer science programs through partnerships between classroom teachers and tech industry volunteers. They work as a team to deliver CS education to students who would otherwise not have the opportunity to learn CS in their school. TEALS has two standard course offerings: Introduction to Computer Science and AP Computer Science A (AP CS A).
Currently, there are 9 schools in Northeast Wisconsin participating in the TEALS program: Appleton West, Appleton East, Appleton North, Kimberly, New London, Green Bay Preble, Pulaski, Denmark and Hortonville. Draheim will be volunteering at Hortonville High School teaching the AP Computer Science class. Spears will be volunteering at New London Middle School teaching the Introduction to Computer Science. Each participating school requires three volunteers with a background in computer science.
TEALS is leading the charge of closing the computer science gap. In the U.S., there will be 1.4 million CS-related jobs by 2020, yet U.S. college graduates are expected to fill less than a third of those jobs.
Draheim states, “By increasing access for youth in Northeast Wisconsin to experience computer science, we will give them the opportunity to become creators of technology and the world’s future innovators.”
About TEALS: TEALS was started in 2009 by Microsoft employee Kevin Wang, who developed and ran the program in his spare time, and is supported by Microsoft Philanthropies. Since its founding, TEALS has helped over 6,000 students and hundreds of teachers succeed in AP CS A. In 2015, per end-of-class surveys, 95% of students saw improvement in their programming skills, 87% of students mentioned the volunteers were helpful in learning computer science, and students averaged scores 1 standard deviation above the national average. In 2016, more than 57,000 students took the AP CS A exam and only 10 students earned a perfect score. One of those perfect scores was earned by a TEALS student.
Resources: Becoming a TEALS Volunteer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNyjBvjbXP0