Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña has launched Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 4-10), a global effort encouraging computer science education, and she has announced New York City’s new CS4All Hack League, a citywide coding competition. Through the Hack League, students from 62 middle and high schools across all five boroughs will create and design games in school-based hackathons. Winners will advance to boroughwide competitions, and then to citywide competitions.
New York City’s participation in Computer Science Education Week and the new CS4All Hack League are part of Computer Science for All, a key public-private partnership in Mayor de Blasio’s and Chancellor Fariña’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda. By 2025, every student will receive computer science education in elementary, middle and high school.
Computer Science for All is already making a major impact in New York City schools:
As of the first day of this school year, approximately 940 teachers received Computer Science for All training to bring back to their 524 elementary, middle and high schools.
The number of students taking an AP computer science exam in 2017 more than tripled, and the number of students passing an AP computer science exam increased more than fourfold. In the first year that the AP Computer Science Principles exam was offered, New York City public school students accounted for approximately 7 percent of exam-takers nationwide.
“As they learn computer science, our students create, collaborate and solve problems,” said Fariña. “Computer Science Education Week is a great time for students, teachers and families to get engaged, and it’s wonderful to see initiatives like the CS4All Hack League that encourage our students to compete and excel in their academics as they would on a sports field or on a stage.”
“In an increasingly digital world, computer science education is fundamental to ensure our students have the tools to be thoughtful creators and problem solvers,” said Gabrielle Fialkoff, senior advisor to the mayor and director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships. “By leveraging public-private partnerships, we are giving all students the chance to benefit from this type of instruction, and Computer Science Education Week provides a look at the exciting ways our students are using this knowledge.”
The CS4All Hack League encourages students to apply computer science concepts they’ve learned in the classroom to solve real-world challenges. Topics include “Connected Cities” and “News Literacy.” Teachers at the 62 Hack League schools received additional training this November to run hackathons at their schools. The Hack League is managed in partnership with the nonprofit Games for Change.
Including the Hack League, a total of 347 schools have signed up to participate in Computer Science Education Week, offering a range of activities, including an “Hour of Code,” hackathons, parent activities, hosting guest speakers and computer science lessons. The Fund for Public Schools is coordinating volunteer opportunities from corporate partners at several schools. To celebrate Computer Science Education Week, Deputy Chancellor Phil Weinberg visited IN-Tech Academy in the Bronx. Students at IN-Tech Academy are participating in the Hack League and doing computer science and coding activities, from sixth-graders using Scratch to program parts of science projects to 11th-graders and 12th-graders participating in an AP computer science class.
Participation in Computer Science Education Week in Brooklyn is supported by Borough President Eric Adams’ Code Brooklyn initiative, a partner in expanding computer science education and building the professional development, curriculum, community engagement, parent and teacher leaders and infrastructure to do so. Across the world, more than 100,000 educators are supporting Computer Science Education Week.
“I am proud of the significant progress we’ve made with CS4All only two years into a 10-year effort,” said Fred Wilson, venture capitalist and founder of CSNYC. “We can see the impact that we are having. Already we have seen three times more students taking AP CS exams—increasing from 1,137 students to 3,966 students—and more than four times more students passing them. The events during this CS Ed Week are a great opportunity for students to demonstrate the skills they’ve mastered.”
“Our work to ensure every student receives a high quality education—including computer science—has never been stronger,” said Phil Weinberg, deputy chancellor for Teaching and Learning. “Computer Science for All is about supporting our schools to lead new types of learning, so that our students become creators of technology, not just consumers of it. And, our new CS4All Hack League will create even more exciting momentum around computer science, ultimately opening doors and expanding the options our young people will have after high school.”
“Computer Science Education Week is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate not only the commitment NYC has made to provide CS to every public school student but also the broad support enjoyed by the public-private partnership that powers the CS4All initiative,” said Sarah Geisenheimer, executive director of the Fund for Public Schools. “It speaks volumes that not only are our partners providing philanthropic support, but they are also here with us today, and volunteering at our schools throughout the week, in recognition of the critical role CS education plays in preparing our students for college and career success.”
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the NYC Department of Education and the NYC Computer Science for All Team on the first C4SAll Hack League,” said Susanna Pollack, president of Games for Change. “Games design is a great applied learning opportunity for student[s] to exercise computer science skills in an activity that they are passionate about. To combine games design with social issues also gives students agency to consider how they can have a positive impact on their communities while building 21st century and career readiness skills.”
Through computer science education, students learn to think and solve problems, collaborate and build relationships with peers, communicate and create with technology and better understand technology we interact with daily.
Computer Science for All is part of Mayor de Blasio’s and Chancellor Fariña’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda, which aims to ensure that by 2026, 80 percent of students graduate high school on time and two-thirds of graduates are college ready. Building on record-high graduation rates, record-low dropout rates and a high-quality pre-K seat for every New York City 4-year-old, Equity and Excellence for All is creating a path from pre-K to college and careers for every child in every neighborhood in New York City.
Computer Science for All is a public-private partnership with New York City supported by a range of foundations, corporations, nonprofits, families and individuals. Major partners include CSNYC, Robin Hood, Math for America, Robin Hood Learning and Technology Fund, Oath Foundation, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. and the Paulson Family Foundation. They are joined by additional partners, such as Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen, & Katz; Hearst Foundations; the Ron Conway Family; The Rudin Foundation and the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation; Accenture; and Arconic Foundation. The Fund for Public Schools, CSNYC and the Office of Strategic Partnerships at City Hall work together to develop and manage these partnerships.
“I’m proud that Brooklyn is at the vanguard of a citywide movement toward universal computer science education,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “Our Code Brooklyn initiative has set the standard for school engagement in dynamic coding curriculum, and my administration has supported these efforts through nearly $100 million in investment for cutting-edge STEAM infrastructure. When we support our students’ education in computer science, there are no limits to their classroom and career potential.”
“It’s thrilling to see New York City’s public school students creating their own apps, building their own robots, and learning the skills that will help them literally create the future,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I look forward to attending the hackathons that these initiatives will bring to our public schools, as well as the expanded instruction and investments in broadband and equipment that we’ll need to truly meet the goal of universal high-quality computer science instruction for all.”
“As the world becomes ever more interconnected, computer science and technology skills are increasingly critical to the achievement of our students,” said Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13). “New York City’s new CS4All Hack League, a citywide coding competition launched under the Computer Science for All initiative, will inspire the city’s students to build the all-important skills necessary for success in today’s global economy. I commend Chancellor Fariña and Mayor Bill de Blasio on today’s announcement to ensure computer science education remains at the forefront and within reach for every elementary, middle and high school throughout New York City.”
“I praise Chancellor Fariña and Mayor de Blasio for this initiative to bring practical, 21st century skills to our students,” said Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz. “The key to computer literate adults is teaching them these skills early and well. This initiative will strengthen the abilities of our students and hopefully inspire them to pursue the invaluable computer science degree in higher education as they continue to learn and grow.”
“Computer Science Education Week helps equip our students with important skills that will stay with them for a lifetime,” said New York City Council Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm. “Computer science education helps students think creatively and strategically. The new CS4All Hack League incentivizes learning in a fun and innovative way. I am pleased to support this exciting development and will continue to work alongside Chancellor Fariña to bring these important programs to students across the five boroughs.”
“The need for more computer science graduates has never been greater,” said Lynn McMahon, New York Metro Office managing director, Accenture. “We all must do more to close the skills gap and prepare students to join the workforce of the future. I am proud of the personal commitments Accenture employees are making in New York City to help introduce students to computer programming and the vast opportunities available to them in the computer science field.”