Grade Level of Students Participating

Grades 6-12

Number of Students Participating per Year

15,000 of students each year

Year Organization Began


Relationship to the public education system

Primarily in schools (Bootstrap partners with schools, districts, and technology education programs across the country)

Organization’s Vision and Mission

“Programming for every student”

Mission: To integrate math and computing education to enable equitable access to and success in both subjects for all students in grades 6-12.

Brief Description of Program Activities

Bootstrap provides classroom materials (curriculum and software), professional development programs, and teacher support.


  1. Bootstrap:1 (recommended for Grades 7-10) applies mathematical concepts and rigorous programming principles to assist students in creating a simple videogame. It is aligned to National and State Standards for Mathematics, including the new standards for Mathematical Practice. 

  2. Bootstrap:2 (recommended for Grades 8-11) goes deeper into teaching programming, building events and data structures on top of the foundation laid by Bootstrap:1 and allowing students to build far more sophisticated programs.

Software: Bootstrap uses WeScheme, a cloud-based integrated development environment (IDE) that requires no downloading or installation. Anyone with a Gmail account can start developing with WeScheme, storing and retrieving files from the cloud and doing all of their editing in a modern browser.

Professional Development: In a Bootstrap workshop, teachers work with their peers to discuss classroom experiences, and spend the day in students' shoes. Teachers have a chance to try activities from every single Bootstrap class. Participants get to debrief with other teachers, discuss pedagogy with the trainers, and try out the materials and software firsthand.

Community Support: Bootstrap has a community of teachers who share their lesson ideas, feedback. and bug reports. The community includes college computer science majors and professional engineers who are teaching Bootstrap to young people in their communities.

Program Content: Intrapersonal Competencies

Metacognition (being able to talk about math)

Program Content: Interpersonal Competencies

Teamwork, communication

Program Content: Cognitive Competencies

Programming, math, problem solving (e.g., problem decomposition)

Program Content: Attitudes and Values

Personal challenge, curiosity

Program Content: Pedagogy/ Active Engagement of Students

  • Project-based learning (students create video games)Inquiry-based learning
  • Use of multiple representation in algebra
  • Pair programming (students program in pairs)
  • Math Talk (students achieve deeper understanding by communicating and defending their ideas and analyzing the other’s reasoning)
  • Structured problem solving (students learn to apply a particular problem solving process that can be flexibly applied to novel tasks)
  • Program content is aligned to Common Core Standards for Math

Reference List

1All information on this table come from Bootstrap’s website and a phone interview with Bootstrap’s Program Director that took place in May 2016.

Prepared by

Ashley Lee