Salesforce Highlights from Computer Science Education Week

By Brenda Martinez | January 9, 2019 | Code, Education, K-12 Education & Youth Development, Learn to Code, STEM, Volunteering

Kids learn coding, Virtual Reality, 3D Printing and other STEM skills with Salesforce volunteers
Kids learn coding, Virtual Reality, 3D Printing and other STEM skills with Salesforce volunteers.

At Salesforce, we believe equity begins with education, and our community of stakeholders (our Ohana) includes our local communities, schools, and students. This is why we are so committed to making sure our young people are Future Ready and equipped with what they need to succeed. As part of these initiatives we take part in Computer Science Education Week (CS Ed Week). At CS Ed Week, employees volunteered with school teachers to create exciting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning activities to help prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow.

This year, during Computer Science Education Week (December 3-7, 2018) 620 Salesforce employees volunteered over 1,700 hours globally to help ensure students are ready to transition from the classroom to the board room.

Here are some of the highlights:

Volunteering Events in San Francisco, Oakland, Chicago, Indianapolis

Learning how to use a 3D printer for the first timeAlliance Academy Middle School studentOver the course of the week, volunteers hosted over 75 middle school students at the new Salesforce Tower in San Francisco for a day full of learning about the Salesforce platform, 3D printing, and an office tour! For many students, this was the first time they had visited a company — and engaging with 3D printing technology, too. Students 3D printed everything from custom keychains to tree ornaments to gifts for their loved ones.

At 21 of our adopted schools across Oakland and San Francisco, volunteers facilitated Code.org Hour of Code lessons and robotics challenges using Sphero robots. They also helped students design their own apps and websites.

But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what Lilly Smith, Program Manager for Oakland School Volunteers at the Oakland Public Education Fund said: “Volunteers demystify the tech world for students. Beyond the coding know-how, volunteers give students real-world examples of how to set goals and chart their career path. Students start to see themselves as future leaders in the field.”

In Chicago, employees hosted at STEM Fair at Solorio High School, where students learned about career options in panel discussions, participated in a “shark tank” pitch presentation challenge, and built their own apps.

In Indianapolis, in partnership with National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), Salesforce employees hosted 65 Indiana K12 counselors as part of the “Counselors for Computing” (C4C) program. Employees participated in career panels with the purpose of providing counselors a sneak peak into working in a tech company. Their day at Salesforce equipped them with an understanding of how to prepare students for careers in tech.

Volunteering Highlights from Australia and India

In Sydney, Australia, volunteers hosted 140 Bexley Public School students from grades 3-6. Over the course of two days, students got to hear from Futureforce employee graduates on their journey of transitioning from the classroom to a corporate environment. Students learned about the evolution of technology in our daily lives, and how Salesforce has revolutionized the way business operates.

“I loved the fact that the kids actually understood the messaging in our Equality video – ‘it’s okay to be different’ and ‘technology can actually make our lives easier'” – Owais Khan, Salesforce Senior Success Specialist

Bexley Public School students in Sydney, Australia and Futureforce graduates enjoying their day touring the Sydney office
Bexley Public School students in Sydney, Australia and Futureforce graduates enjoying their day touring the Sydney office.

In Bangalore, our employees ran a day-long workshop on Virtual Reality, 3D holography, and filmmaking/editing, and they also built bots using simple circuits. The students were very excited to learn about these concepts and even got a chance to shoot their own short movie!

Students in Bangalore learning about film making and editing from a Salesforce employee
Students in Bangalore learning about film making and editing from a Salesforce employee.

In Hyderabad, 20 students from Government High School Lingampally visited Salesforce to learn about different types of engineering, computer fundamentals, programming, and problem-solving. Volunteers guided students through an Hour of Code challenge that introduced the kids to different types of programming languages.

Volunteering Events in Europe

In Amsterdam, our employees hosted a group of high school students from ROC van Amsterdam at Salesforce offices. In this event, volunteers taught an introduction to robotics through a hands-on introduction experience to coding. Students were able to interact with professionals who guided them through putting their theoretical knowledge into practice!

Students from School 21 learning how to create a 3D printed keychain
Students from School 21 learning how to create a 3D printed keychain.

The London office hosted students from our grantee partner organization School 21 for 3D Printing using Tinkercad!

In Germany, employees facilitated a workshop for 39 young adults that covered topics like Salesforce fundamentals, AI, full stack development, data analysis, app development, and basic computer literacy. They also hosted over 30 students in the Munich office to participate in a CoderDojo session and learn about jobs in the IT sector.

How You Can Help Kids Learn Tech Skills, Too

About the Author
Brenda MartinezBrenda is a Program Manager of Education Initiatives on the Salesforce.org Philanthropy and Engagement Team. She is focused on creating programs to ensure students and educators have the resources and skills they need to be #FutureReady. Using her experience as a classroom teacher, Brenda is dedicated to building relationships with the community, engaging employees to volunteer in schools, and organizing complex events that link sectors together in order to benefit students, families, educators, and community members. In addition to her work, she is the Global Philanthropy Chair of Latinoforce, a Salesforce Employee Resource Group. Connect with her on Twitter: @BYasminMartinez