Fundraiser launched to meet demand for coding program in local schools

Calculus Roundtable has launched an online fundraiser aiming to expand its coding program at local schools. (Photo credit: Calculus Roundtable)

Ubisoft’s visit to Kennedy High’s Fab Lab last month to introduce and donate its educational video game Discovery Tour: Ancient Greece, a dedicated mode of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, has energized efforts to develop future coders and programmers in West Contra Costa County.

Organized by Calculus Roundtable, a nonprofit that promotes alternative pathways to math and science for underserved students, the Sept. 11 event launched a program at local schools that teaches students in Richmond to code and build their very own computer game.

And already, program officials are receiving requests to offer coding instruction at more schools.

Jim Hollis, executive director for Calculus Roundtable, has launched a fundraiser aiming to more than double student access to the coding program. Visit the online fundraiser here.

Students interact with video game technology during Ubisoft’s launch of Discovery Tour: Ancient Greece at the Fab Lab at Kennedy High in Richmond on Sept. 11, 2019. (Photo credit: Calculus Roundtable)

Currently, 25 students from Kennedy High are participating in the coding program, another 20 students from De Anza High will start in the Spring, and at Nystrom Elementary, 32 students meet weekly with a professional game designer in an after-school program, Hollis said.

In hosting clubs, students are supplied with Chromebooks, along with a trained coach provided by Calculus Roundtable. The coaches are either professional game designers, college students studying higher level sciences or software developers.

The money raised in the fundraiser will pay for coaches, food and over 800 in-class activities for teachers to support clubs at Wilson Elementary and Riverside Elementary. Calculus Roundtable also has coding clubs in Oakland, Fremont and East Palo Alto.

To learn more about Calculus Roundtable, go here.