Computing for a Purpose


Facilitating opportunities for non-dominant youth to learn how to use technology as a tool to engage civically and create positive change in their communities is both powerful and revolutionary. The K-8 curriculum is designed to expand young people’s civic imagination, develop their civic agency, and increase their efficacy in their ability to effect change in their communities. Preliminary results have demonstrated that minoritized youth understand computer science as an accessible field of exploration that can be used to develop their conceptions of identity, race, and power. Our goal is to empower youth with the agency to imagine and create their own futures leveraging computer science to accomplish that goal.

This curriculum engages youth in producing computational artifacts using block-based programming tools like Scratch and OctoPlay. Opportunities for promoting awareness and advocacy are incorporated throughout the curriculum, based on constructionist and creative learning practices. This work builds off the many, and often unnamed, community organizers and activists in marginalized communities that continue to fight for better lives for all people—emphasizing the importance of civic engagement and creating positive change in our own communities. We apply an anti-racist framework, with the belief that everyone has the right to have access to computer science education and create spaces for themselves that reject customs that often force conformity and assimilation into the white supremacist traditions of computer science.