Middle School Computer Science
Prior to Salesforce’s investment in Oakland, only 82 middle school students had taken a computer science class. After four years of support from Salesforce, all middle schools now offer rigorous, relevant computer science courses, enrolling over 3,000 students and counting.
The middle school computer science initiative prepares and inspires Oakland students to pursue college degrees and future careers in STEM. By offering computer science courses, OUSD and Salesforce aim to address the glaring equity gap that has characterized the tech industry where women and people of color have traditionally been underrepresented. This vision is coming to life: this year (2019-20), computer science classes are 42% female, 27% African American, and 40% Latinx, which closely mirrors the district-wide population.
Teacher Professional Development
In addition to supporting students, Salesforce’s investment incentivizes teachers to earn their computer science teaching credentials and provides professional development to give current computer science teachers the tools needed to provide rigorous instruction to students.
In addition to computer science classes, the partnership with Salesforce offers many avenues for students to apply their learning in STEM competitions, career exposure field-trips to Salesforce headquarters in San Francisco, as well as Computer Science Education Week activities. For students, these opportunities bridge the gap between the learning occurring in classrooms and the real world of technology taking place in their own backyard.