Dani Ward, Bellevue School District’s K-5 Computer Science and Science Curriculum Developer, and Juliet Buder, the Executive Director of the Bellevue Schools Foundation, share more about BSD’s computer science program at the elementary school level.

For the 2022-23 school year, the Bellevue Schools Foundation is supporting our computer science pathway with $140,000 out of the $800,000 funding portfolio. Funding for computer science includes books, curriculum, professional development for teachers, and robotics.

Industry Professionals Provide Hands-On Coding Experience for Students

computer science week volunteers standing outside, in front of Big Picture School sign

During this year’s Computer Science Education week, students had the opportunity to learn about computer science from industry professionals.

At the elementary level, students had the opportunity to meet with volunteers from Amazon and Microsoft. Students read, wrote and followed algorithms in their programs. They worked collaboratively to create projects together, debug errors in their code, and creatively solve problems. Kindergarteners used iPads to code on CodeSpark for the first time. Second and fifth graders coded using Microsoft micro:bit, Code.org, and MakeCode Arcade.

At BSD middle schools, students met with volunteers from Amazon, who talked about STEM career pathways. Students learned about the practical applications of coding with the Calisto Space Tour by Amazon.

student working on laptop at table
students and teachers sitting at table, working on laptops

At the high school level, students had the opportunity to do an Hour of AI with computer science engineers. Students learned about artificial intelligence and how to program Alexa devices with voice commands.

Assistant Superintendent of Strategic Initiatives, Student Services and Staff Engagement, Kelly Aramaki, visited Bellevue Big Picture during the Hour of AI and was able to learn some Alexa coding from students.

Kelly Aramaki sits with student while they work on laptop

Computer Science for All

BSD’s computer science initiative is grounded in the idea of equitable access to computer science for all students. We want all students to see computer science as a potential career path and know that computer science is for everyone. The integration of computer science into the elementary classrooms is a commitment to high-quality instruction – a priority of BSD’s Strategic Plan. We are committed to offering an integrated computer science curriculum for each student that applies computation thinking, programming and physical computing to analyze new problems, build predictive models, and create innovative solutions.

student looking at completed coloring sheet with excitement as the robot follows the path
student working with learning tool that looks like a honey bee
student looking at completed coloring sheet with excitement as the robot follows the path

Why is Computer Science Important?

Computer science teaches problem solving and important skills like communication, collaboration and creativity. There are tremendous career opportunities, and computer science is relevant to all career pathways. The Bellevue School District recognizes computer science as increasingly important in today’s world.

Student and mentor working on laptop together

Learn more about K-12 Computer Science in the Bellevue School District.

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.