Microsoft expands its TEALS program, bringing computer science to classrooms in more than 31 states
Since 2011, Microsoft Philanthropies’ Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) program has helped bring technology professionals into the classroom in an effort to spread computer science literacy and inspire a future generation of innovators.
Since its inception, TEALS has grown from serving just a handful of schools in Washington to partnerships with more than 200 schools across 25 states.
In May, however, the Redmond-based technology company announced it would be expanding the program even further with the addition of nearly 100 schools this fall.
“This fall’s TEALS expansion is an especially significant one, with nearly 100 new schools,” said program founder and former computer science high school teacher and software engineer Kevin Wang.
By emphasizing computer science in the classroom at the high school level, Microsoft said the TEALS program helps prepare students for jobs in new and evolving industries. With the expansion, TEALS will be able to reach more students than before.
“As industries evolve, we should prepare young people with the skills they need,” said Mary Snapp, corporate vice president and head of Microsoft Philanthropies. “Half a million jobs that require computing skills are unfilled in the United States, with openings in every industry and in every state. Yet most high schools do not teach computer science. Volunteers from Microsoft and more than 300 other companies are working to fill that gap, in partnership with teachers, through TEALS.”
In order to support this expansion, Microsoft also will recruit approximately 1,100 volunteers for the program. These volunteers are technology professionals willing to donate their time and work side-by-side with teachers to introduce students to computer science and even help prepare them for careers in the technology industry.
“TEALS depends on volunteers from local companies to partner with classroom teachers to bring computer science into high schools in urban, suburban, and rural areas,” said Wang. “We have many volunteers from startups, along with those from larger companies including Amazon and Google. Anyone with a computer science background and a desire to contribute to their community is encouraged to apply.”
Through the expansion, TEALS will become available at schools in seven new states, expanding the program’s reach to more than 31
Locally, TEALS has worked with dozens of schools, including several on the Eastside. For the 2016-17 school year, TEALS partnered with 86 school in Washington. Of those, 16 were on the Eastside, including Bellevue High School (Bellevue), Lake Washington High School (Kirkland), and Skyline High School (Sammamish).
Through the program’s expansion this fall, TEALS will partner with three new Washington schools, including Gibson EK High School (Issaquah), The Overlake School (Redmond), and Arts & Academics Academy (Seattle).
In the past year, Microsoft said the TEALS program engaged 750 volunteers from more than 400 companies nationwide to bring computer science education to students in 225 U.S. high schools.