Check out our Bootstrap informational video here!
FATE has partnered with the organization Bootstrap to deliver services to the Philadelphia area. Bootstrap is a standards-based curriculum for middle and high-school students, which teaches them to program their own videogames using purely algebraic and geometric concepts. Their curriculum and software is used by educators around the country to bring technology and real math instruction together in the classroom. Unlike many other programming curricula available to this age group, Bootstrap uses algebra as the vehicle for creating images and animations.
While many programming languages use terms like functions and variables, they actually refer to concepts that are totally incompatible with algebra. This makes it hard for students to apply what they’ve learned through programming to what they encounter in math class, and can have unintended consequences for their mathematical reasoning. In Bootstrap, functions and variables behave exactly the way they do in mathematics, and are subject to the same rules. Bootstrap’s lesson plans, activities and projects are carefully aligned to state standards. Bootstrap lessons cover mathematical topics that range from simple arithmetic expressions to the Pythagorean Theorem, Discrete Logic, Function Composition and the Distance Formula. The program is based on cognitive science research and best practices for improving critical thinking and problem solving.
FATE will work with Bootstrap to train more teachers, open more sites and collect research data on program efficacy and work with Bootstrap to continue to evolve the program over time. FATE is an accredited provider of Pennsylvania Act 48 Continuing Education Credits.
On May 3, 2013, Bootstrap Philadelphia students showed off their games at the First Anniversary FATE Bootstrap Expo, sponsored by LDiscovery.
That expo included a speech by City Managing Director Richard Negrin, Esq., in which he emphasized that, “technology can empower all our children. It can catapult their learning and thinking.” Philadelphia’s Chief Data Officer, Mark Headd was also in attendance; both Negrin and Headd spent time with Bootstrap Philadelphia students as the students introduced their games and walked them through the source code.
FATE and Bootstrap are grateful to our hardworking Lead Teacher Rosanna Sobota and her dedicated team of instructors for making this program a success.