A bootcamp's quality can be measured partly by how connected they are to their community, and two US bootcamps are leading the pack in engaging high schools in teaching students to code. Flatiron School in New York began with a summer academy, then expanded their Flatiron After School program into the academic year. Mobile Makers Academy in Chicago recently announced their partnership with Chicago-area schools to add programming into the STEM curriculum.
We compare the two programs and how they're making programming accessible to high school students.
Students accepted in to the after-school program (20 is the maximum) will meet at the Flatiron campus, working amidst adults in the intensive, full-time course. The schedule is flexible, offering options with different frequencies (classes that meet once a week for four hours, and classes that meet twice a week for two hours).
Flatiron After School costs $2500 for 12 weeks of instruction. While the cost is not trivial, Flatiron cites that considering the 48 hours of instruction, the average cost per hour is ~$50. Flatiron After School does not require a credit card to enroll, which seems to be an attempt to broaden accessibility. Perhaps the most valuable aspect of the Flatiron After School program is the instruction- students are taught by Flatiron teachers and TAs.
Instead of offering a separate bootcamp for younger students, Mobile Makers has partnered with schools to incorporate their curriculum into the students' current school day. Throughout the school year, students will receive 130 hours of in-class iOS coding instruction.
Mobile Makers has chosen to work in partnership with Chicago-area schools to add programming into the STEM curriculum, making the classes accessible to students regardless of their schedule or financial status. However, this means that Mobile Makers had less control over teaching- to remedy this, they trained 9 teachers in mobile software development. They created Mobile Makers for Schools, a special training program designed for high school instructors.
While coding bootcamps typically serve the over-18 crowd, many with college degrees, Flatiron School and Mobile Makers Academy are showing how bootcamps can be involved in educating high school students as well. With attention on educators to incorporate coding into the STEM curriculum, it will be interesting to see the role bootcamps play!