STEM Education

Google Launches Code Next Connect

Google’s free computer science education program, Code Next, is adding a virtual component and expanding into more states. The launch of the virtual component of the program, called Code Next Connect, was announced as part of Google’s Computer Science Education Week activities yesterday.

The Code Next program is aimed at black and Latinx high school students (primarily grades 9 and 10, but open to all high school students), providing training and experience in coding and leadership and offering mentoring and other experiences for participants. The program was originally available only to students in New York and California, but it has now expanded to 16 different clubs available to students throughout the United States. Programs are held in winter, spring and fall. For the Connect program's winter and spring semesters, applications are open to any U.S.-based high school student who is at least 13 years old. The application period closes Feb. 3. Prior coding experience is not required. The Winter and Spring semesters each last nine weeks, and the program is free to all participants who are accepted to the program.

Said Shameeka Emanuel, Diversity STEM Strategist, Code Next: “Recent research shows that only 45 percent of U.S. schools offer computer science (CS) courses, and that Black, Latinx and Female students especially lack equitable access to a CS education. So I beat the odds: I am a Black, female, computer engineer at Google.

She added: “Majoring in systems and CS at Howard University opened up so many opportunities in my life and career. Computing jobs are the number one source of new wages in the U.S.; clearly, these skills are becoming as important as reading and writing and we can’t afford to leave anyone out. Code with Google is our commitment to closing equity gaps in CS….”

In other Computer Science Education Week news, Google also announced that its philanthropic arm,, has awarded a $5 million grant to the Scratch Foundation yesterday. The Scratch Foundation is a coding community for kids that supports the various Scratch projects. (Scratch itself is a programming language, suite of tools and online community run by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab.)

According to Google: “The grant will go to several programs at Scratch including the new Scratch Education Collaborative, a supportive model for K-8 students typically underrepresented in creative learning/creative coding initiatives.”

According to Emanuel: “These new initiatives are a part of Google’s larger commitment to CS education. Since 2013, has given more than $80 million to organizations around the globe working to increase access to high quality CS learning opportunities.”

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .