Hi, I'm David Bock, the Director of LoudounCodes. I have been a software engineer since the late 80's and involved in various software engineering communities since then, starting with Washington Apple Pi and later founding the Northern Virginia Java Users Group in 1997. I was born and raised in Fairfax and Loudoun Counties.
In 2012, my triplet boys were starting kindergarten at Kenneth Culbert Elementary School, and I started volunteering with an organization called Watchdog D.A.D.S. I spend about 1 day a month at Culbert, volunteering in classrooms throughout the school. I was thrilled to see a computer lab at Culbert, where students learned computer literacy, digital citizenship, and various computer skills.
Computer Science Education Week
In the fall of 2013, I learned about the Hour of Code and Computer Science Education Week.. This is free curriculum aimed at K-5 students, teaches computer programming skills, requires nothing to be installed on the computer, and was perfect for the lab at Culbert. Coordinating with the Technology Resource Teacher, I took the week off from work and together we ran about 400 students through that curriculum.
Later that school year the principal told me about a program called TEALS, and an opportunity to volunteer at the high school level in Loudoun County.
Volunteering with TEALS
I admit, volunteering at the high school level was originally motivited entirely by self-interest, to know the school my children would be attending. I wasn't expecting this volunteer effort to be such an enriching thing.
Through TEALS, I have spent two years volunteering in several Intro and AP level computer science classes at Loudoun Valley High School. Working with several teachers at LVHS has been fantastic, and through teaching the students, I've realized education is my second calling.
Beyond the TA Role
This is how the Loudoun Computer Science Initiative was born. I have spent the past year working with students teaching advanced algorithms, computer circuitry, principles of web development, sql, web services, languages beyond Java (taught in school), cybersecurity, robotics, and preparing for ACM-HSPC competitions. With a recent donation of computer equipment, a desire to run a Loudoun-wide programming contest, the creation of AP curriculum post AP-exam, and planning for summer curriculum, I decided to rally the cause and create a non-profit to help amplify these efforts.