Building Opportunities
with Teachers in Schools (BOTS)

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What is BOTS?

Building Opportunities with Teachers in Schools (BOTS) fosters computer science and digital literacy and equity in Los Angeles elementary schools via a Community of Practice of K-5 teachers & USC Computer Science and Robotics students, co-creating high-quality, scalable, and sustainable in-school computer science education opportunities.

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Why BOTS?

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Basic knowledge and skills needed to understand and use computers and other digital technologies are lacking for many Americans.

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Computer science suffers from a substantial lack of diversity with only 24% of jobs held by females and 15% of jobs held by LatinX, Black, and other people of color.

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Late elementary grades are when students often lose interest in STEM.

To address these important challenges, there is a need to grow computer science and digital literacy through the education of young learners from underrepresented and under resourced populations, beginning with bringing computer science to elementary school teachers.

Who Does BOTS Serve?

  • Evergreen Elementary
  • Gates Elementary
  • Malabar Elementary
  • Santa Teresita School
  • Holy Spirit STEM School
  • Sheridan Street Elementary School
  • Murchison Street Elementary School
  • Resurrection Catholic School
  • St. Odilia School

What Impact does BOTS Have?

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What BOTS Teachers are saying:

“For those new to coding or for those who want to bring more engagement to their coding lessons, BOTS gives you the tools you need to succeed. BOTS lessons were incredibly engaging.  They helped me become more literate in the subject of coding, and more confident in teaching coding to my students in a meaningful way.”

“Besides the benefits to the students, the program for teachers is amazing. I feel like I've been exposed to something I've never had before and I'm giving that experience to my students. I felt supported and guided throughout the whole year which was most important to me because it's difficult navigating something new on your own let alone teaching it to a bunch of kiddos.”

“I would recommend BOTS to other teachers because it is so "user friendly." We were always greeted with a smile, and made to feel welcome. Meetings were an appropriate length of time, and the material presented was appropriately challenging. We were offered assistance in our classroom if we needed it…It was a wonderful experience for me and I would definitely encourage other teachers to participate in the future.“


Meet the BOTS Team:

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Mary Bonaparte-Saller

Program Manager

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Cici Chan

Program Coordinator

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Samyuktha Vellaiyan

Student Assistant

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Danny Bohen

Student Assistant

Funding for BOTS Graciously Provided By:

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How do I learn more?

Reach out to BOTS program manager, Dr. Mary Bonaparte-Saller at kbonapar@usc.edu. As we grow, we are often looking to connect with local school/district partners as well as USC computer science students!

Published on March 7th, 2018

Last updated on September 13th, 2021