K8 Computer Science Learning to Code

The Coding Generation: Increasing Diversity in Tech

Back in April, Eliza Ross, a junior at Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley, CA reached out to me about a project to create a documentary about pop culture in the Bay Area. Given all the buzz around increasing diversity in the tech industry, Ross and her team decided to narrow their focus to women and girls in computer science. While countless people have covered this topic in a variety of ways, I am deeply impressed with the quality and thoughtfulness of their final product: The Coding Generation.

I hope you’ll enjoy this short film as much as I did and share with a young woman in your life!

K8 Computer Science Teacherpreneur Spotlight

Power to the Teacher

Amidst our current obsession with online learning it is important to remember that a good teacher can have a tremendous impact on student learning outcomes. Renowned education economist Eric Hanushek puts it best that,

the initiatives we have emphasized in policy discussions—class-size reduction, curriculum revamping, reorganization of school schedule, investment in technology—all fall far short of the impact that good teachers can have in the classroom.

We are lucky to have not only a good teacher, but arguably one of the best K12 computer science teachers in the state, Brian Van Dyck, on our founding team at Embark Labs.

Brian in action at our Google Spring Academy
Brian in action at our Google Spring Academy

I have learned so much from working with Brian and am constantly impressed by the energy he creates in any learning environment. And I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who has recognized this. In the past few weeks Brian has been featured in a couple articles that provide a glimpse into his teaching philosophy and the unique approach we are creating at Embark Labs.

InMenlo, a local Bay Area publication captured Brian’s 20+ year history working in this area while the Code-To-Learn Foundation wrote a fantastic profile on how he uses Scratch in innovative ways to teach kids coding and computer science.

We don’t need a special ‘appreciation’ day to celebrate the educators that inspire our children every day. As the school year comes to a close, this is as good a time as any to share your appreciation for someone who has impacted your child’s learning journey. My gratitude goes out to Brian Van Dyck.

(If you’d like to experience Brian’s magical teaching, there are a few spaces and scholarships still available for Embark Labs summer programs in Mountain View and Menlo Park. Enroll today!)