A teacher wouldn’t have to have any Computer Science background. Bootstrap broadens the horizon of what you can use functions for, but in a concrete way. It was especially helpful for students who usually aren’t engaged either because they don’t like math or because they are good at math and it's too easy or boring.  You help both extremes. Bootstrap is an alternative [to just doing more worksheets] that reinforces what you were trying to teach anyway. - An 8th grade math teacher in Oklahoma

Program Type

Curriculum/Instructional Materials
Teacher Development/Training

Target Audience

All Students




Grades 6 - 8
Grades 9 - 12

Program Impact

Bootstrap has trained thousands of teachers across the USA and reaches tens of thousands of students per year. By integrating content into classes that students are already taking, we reach diverse populations: historically, our student populations have been over 43% for each of female and HUG students, with many from Title 1 schools. The vast majority of our teachers have no prior computing experience. Our research shows positive transfer from Bootstrap content to typical standardized exam questions in math, as well as increased understanding of both computing and their home discipline with participating teachers. The impact page on our website has more details (


Program Overview

Bootstrap crafts research-based curricular modules for integrating computing and data science into existing middle- and high-school courses, such as math, physics, and social studies. Our materials reinforce core concepts from math (algebra and statistics), using computing and data to support modeling and analysis skills that can embed into contexts of a teacher’s choice. We place data science at the intersection of computing, math, and domains of study. This enables schools to simultaneously work towards a range of math and computer science standards within their existing courses. Our materials are hands-on and project-based, with a combination of work both off and on a computer.

We specialize in working with teachers with no prior background in computing or data science. Our materials enable teachers to ease into computing and data science in multiple steps over time. Our professional-development workshops devote considerable time to pedagogy as well as content. We are happy to work with districts to plan professional development and curricular pathways that meet their needs. Our lessons can be sequenced into different lengths or depth of content, from 5th grade through high school and into a college-level computer science course (from Brown University). 

How To Get Involved

Visit our website ( to view our materials, research, and upcoming workshops. Reach out to us at to set up a professional-development workshop, overview presentation, or curricular consultations for your school or district.

Funders and Partners

Bootstrap has been funded by The National Science Foundation, several foundations, and private donors. An up-to-date list of funders is on our website. 


Emmanuel Schanzer, co-director


Design Principles

The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against the Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.

  • Accomplished
  • Developing
  • Undeveloped

Overarching Principles

  • Need

    Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.

  • Evaluation

    Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.

  • Sustainability

    Ensure work is sustainable.

  • Replication and Scalability

    Demonstrate replicability and scalability.

  • Partnerships

    Create high impact partnerships

  • Capacity

    Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.

STEM Principles

  • Challenging and Relevant Content

    Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience

  • STEM Practices

    Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.

  • Inspiration

    Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.

  • Under-Represented Groups

    Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.