Expanding Tech Education


CodeNow is a nonprofit that transforms underserved youth into coders, designers, and product managers by teaching them to solve meaningful problems in their communities with software. CodeNow empowers students with a holistic understanding of the app development process through hands-on project-based learning. By teaching students the context of what makes software useful, they learn both how it works and why it matters. This creates a realization moment that they can become creators, and not just consumers, of technology. CodeNow has run programs in Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, San Jose, Palo Alto, Oakland, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Miami and Washington D.C.

Level 1: Community Crowdsourced Tech Platform

CodeNow is passionate about teaching our students how to solve problems with software. For beginners, it can be difficult to come up with problems to solve. We'd love to create a web app on where community members in our chapter cities can submit local issues that could be improved with tech. CodeNow students then should be able to view these issues, update community members on their progress, and mark them as completed. This would give our current students and alumni opportunities to learn about using tech for social impact while building and help the community as well!

Level 2: Social Media Interest Monitoring

CodeNow aims to expand access to coding education beyond the students it can reach with its physical programs. We want to create a Twitter monitoring chatbot to capture interest with high school students wanting to learn software development. When the chatbot has found a target student, it messages the student with helpful resources, and can reply to basic questions the student may have. In cases where the chatbot does not know how to reply, a CodeNow team member can reply to questions. This part of the project is more open to creative ideas. For example, to determine whether a tweet belongs to a high school student expressing interest in coding, you can use a machine learning classifier.

Recommended Skills

  • A passion for expanding opportunities for technology education
  • Experience with web app development (e.g. one or more of React, Angular, Node, Ruby on Rails, etc...)
  • Natural language processing, machine learning, and web scraping familiarity will be useful but not required.