Teachers at Youth Code Jam

Youth Code Jam is a TEA-approved provider of continuing professional education. Our TEA Continuing Professional Education Provider Number is #902-492.

Jam in a Box Applications now open

Applications now open for Jam in a Box for the NISD and NEISD Collaborative

In partnership with Google Fiber San Antonio, Youth Code Jam is excited to offer NISD and NEISD schools an opportunity to apply for a grant award that includes: a $300 stipend, a free Jam in a Box kit and free teacher professional development for up to two teachers/librarians. The kits, combined with the professional development workshop, will equip each selected school to host its own Community Code Jam for families.

 How to apply: If your school is interested in participating in this program, please fill out the application here

 What is a Community Code Jam? A Community Code Jam is a hands-on workshop bringing together students, parents and volunteer programmers to learn and grow with code. Imagine all of your students with their adults, elbow to elbow... together as they solve super fun coding challenges. Think of a Family Math or Science Night, but designed completely around solving problems with computing. 

 You don’t have to know how to code...we’ll teach you how to find the expertise to support your efforts. You don’t have to know how to plan an event...we’ll teach you all the logistics you need. Have students with parents who feel more comfortable speaking Spanish? All of our activities are translated into Spanish. Don’t have equipment or robust Internet access? We have alternative activities that don’t require either. 

 Why host a Community Code Jam at your school? 

Track Record: To date, Youth Code Jam has supported Community Code Jams at 37 schools in 21 Texas cities, through our Jam in a Box community engagement model training. 

Powerful Outcomes: Jams are a great way to get students excited about computer science, build their confidence in their skills and inspire them to imagine themselves in the technology-driven jobs of the future. It engages parents and builds interest. 

·         95% of students say they intend to continue learning to code

·         96% of students understand the next steps to take to continue learning to code

·         97% of parents understand the connection between computers and jobs

·         93% of parents express an intent to help their child continue to learn to code

Community Engagement: Our model wraps support around you so you don’t feel they have to do it all alone. We show you how to get community support, expert volunteers and funding. And we will help along the way. Our team of educators and programmers are just a call or email away. We’ll check in periodically to see if your team needs anything to help them as you plan your school’s Community Code Jam.

Pre-vetted: We’ve got eight years and 53 jams under our belt. In fact, we run Texas’ largest family coding event every year, right here in San Antonio, with more than a thousand participants. We know where the problems hide and how to avoid them.

What comes in the box?

The Jam in a Box kit includes what you need to host your own Community Code Jam. 

  • 5 micro:bits

  • Jam logistics checklist

  • Parent resource materials

  • TEKS-aligned coding station activity materials

  • Stickers

  • Unplugged coding activity supplies

  • Youth Code Jam Berriables™ board game

What is the timing on this grant award? 

  • Deadline to apply extended: August 15, 2019

  • Schools notified: August 10 - 25, 2019

  • Teacher workshop: Saturday, September 7, 2019

  • Jams hosted: October 2019 to May 2020

  • Deadline for return of data: June 1, 2020

What do I need for the application?

The application is online here. Deadline to apply is August 15, 2019. You and your school will need to commit to the following:

  • Two individuals (teachers/librarians) from your school to spearhead the project.

  • Attendance at the September 7 workshop.

  • Agree to host a Community Code Jam prior to the end of the 2019-20 School Year.

  • An administrator’s letter of support with your application.

  • Agree to use our surveys and return the data along with photos/videos by June 1.

  • Complete a final report on how your Jam was received by June 1. 

September 7, 2019

Intro to Contextualized Coding for the Elementary School Classroom: Beyond the Hour of Code

Join us for a full day of contextualized coding for the 3rd through 5th grade classroom.We’ll cover how to take code out of its CS silo and integrate it across core curriculum. We’ll cover scratch, micro:bits and more. Cost: Free, lunch on your own

November TBD, 2019

Teacher Jam: Prepare for the Hour of Code with all kinds of coding activities for K12 students

Imagine our Community Code Jam, but just for teachers. Explore with us at a dozen different coding stations with a dozen different coding languages.


Debi and her Youth Code Jam team are amazing! They provided a PD session for us that was attended by educators of all ages and positions, packed with engaging activities, accompanied by reproducible instructions, and differentiable for all ages, abilities, and interests. Engagement levels were high and the information shared was inspiring. As a result of this well-developed PD, three of our schools replicated the information to produce Coding nights on their own campuses. This PD was definitely worth every penny!
— ESC Region 8

Youth Code Jam provides hands-on experiences with teachers using a variety of block-based and text-based coding languages and physical computing devices, helps them design activities around lesson plans across curriculum and helps them understand the computational thinking mindset.

A sampling of where teachers are using our training:
Texas A&M Kingsville
IDEA Montopolis College Prep
Bushy Creek Elementary
Brooks Academy of Science and Technology
Park Village Elementary
Henderson Elementary
La Vernia ISD
TM Clark Elementary
Whitcomb Elementary
Rising Scholars Academy of South Texas

Interested in having Youth Code Jam come to your city or school to do training? Contact us.

Check back here or on our event calendar for our 2019 training calendar for our professional development workshops.

Available Topics for Workshops: Contact us for more information about bringing our workshops to your school.

Physical Computing

  • micro:bits

  • Finch robots

  • Spheros

  • Ozobots

  • Unplugged

Creative Computing

  • Mobile app design

  • Game design

  • Web design

  • Java

Other Trainings

  • Lit*Bits: coding with a literary twist

  • Elementary School Coding Clubs

  • DIY Family Jams

  • DIY Coding/Cybersecurity Escape Rooms

 ­­­­Lending Library (available for loan to current school teachers)

  • Arduinos

  • micro:bits

  • Merge VR Goggles and Cubes

  • Codrones

Interested in having Youth Code Jam come to your city, school or district to offer teacher professional development? Contact us.