BootUp PD


“The BootUp team has made an immeasurable impact on computer science learning. In every elementary school, students are learning to code beginning in kindergarten! BootUp’s passion and expertise in delivering high-quality professional development has significantly increased our teachers’ skills and will have far-reaching effects on our students’ lives.”

Lisa Cadero-Smith, Assistant Superintendent, Yelm Community Schools

Program Type

Curriculum/Instructional Materials
Teacher Development/Training
Hands on/Project-Based

Target Audience

Teachers/Educational Leaders




Pre-K - 5

 Accomplished link

Program Impact

Coding should be elementary – everywhere. But today, many schools across the nation are not teaching their students an essential, creative, and collaborative literacy – the ability to code. Worse, even as the popularity of coding grows, the equity gap is growing even faster. 

BootUp empowers all elementary students by immersing them in practical and imaginative curricula that extends beyond coding. Our professional development initiatives give students access to important 21st-century skills – particularly girls and underrepresented minority students. With BootUp Professional Development, now, coding is elementary.


Program Overview

BootUp offers district-wide elementary computer science (CS) implementation. Professional development occurs through a combination of in-person workshops and on-site support spread out over time. Support includes multiple full-day PD sessions, model teaching and coaching, train-the-trainer support, PLC support, and district implementation support. PD is scaffolded in a way for teachers to begin teaching and practicing in the classroom after their first workshop.

Teachers learn how to engage students through easy-to-use, block-based programming languages to create and share interactive stories, animations, games, art, music, and more through problem-solving and other fundamental computer science concepts and practices. PD requires no prior coding experience and includes a free, interest-driven and project-based curricula with more than 100 class projects (and more to come in the future) for grades K-6. 

BootUp provides interest-driven, project-based learning lesson plans for beginner to advanced teachers. The curriculum consists of open-ended coding projects that encourage a student’s interests to guide and enrich their learning within projects that are personally meaningful. All lesson plans include process and product objectives, standards, practices, concepts, vocabulary, a project sequence with facilitation tips, and assessment suggestions. BootUp lessons also provide additional optional resources including project extensions, debugging practices, differentiation, suggested unplugged lessons, video resources, presentation guides, reflection, and sharing. Each lesson plan includes links to suggested third-party unplugged lessons to reinforce concepts and practices within that lesson or to help integrate the lesson into other content areas.

How To Get Involved

BootUp trains teachers and district instructional coaches to teach elementary computer science through long-term professional development, coaching, and mentoring. Our professional development facilitators work with districts to design customized plans for teachers and educators using research-based methodologies. BootUp delivers on-site professional development, an interest-driven curriculum, and resources for sustainable, large-scale support. Visit to learn more about our professional development and district support.

For additional information, to partner, or to visit a program in action, contact us today!


Clark Merkley

Executive Director

(435) 267-0186

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.