K-12 Outreach & Resources

Illinois Computer Science has developed a series of outreach programs aimed at serving our local community to raise awareness about and interest in computer science.

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K-12 Outreach and Resources


K-12 Outreach

Illinois CS offers a variety of K-12 outreach programs designed to raise awareness of computer science in our community, throughout the state of Illinois, and beyond. Our programs seek to introduce young people- especially women and people from groups underrepresented in computing- to skills highly sought-after in industry and academia, thus providing a pathway to impactful and fulfilling career opportunities. 

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K-12 Resources

Illinois CS takes great pride in our role in educating computer scientists who change our world by doing things that were thought impossible.  To support K-12 educators, we have developed a list of departmental, college, and national resources.

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Grainger College of Engineering Outreach Programs

Grainger Engineering is at the heart of Illinois, and is committed to extending the benefits of engineering and STEM education to everyone. The College offers a variety of K-12 outreach opportunities for students such as:

  • GAMES – a week-long camp for high school girls that enables them to explore engineering and science fields through demonstrations, presentations, hands-on activities, and interaction with women in technical fields
  • Illinois First – 4 programs: Robotics Competition, Tech Challenge, LEGO League, and Junior LEGO League for ages 6 - 18
  • Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) – Summer Camps and Programs for high school students with an interest in STEM.
  • Cracking the Code: Demystifying Computer Science- a summer program for rising 10th-12th graders that provides hands-on project-based experience with computer science led by Illinois CS professors and staff. Students learn to code and understand the why behind coding. 

For more information about Grainger Outreach programs, please contact The Grainger Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering Program.

The Quintessential Engineer statue on the University of Illinois campus.

Get Involved

We welcome our alumni and friends to partner with us on recruiting, research collaborations, and philanthropy to uphold our global reputation as a leader in computer science education and research.

Build the Talent Pipeline

Illinois Computer Science has developed programming throughout the year to engage and inspire more young people to explore the fun and diverse applications of computer science.

  • Girls Who Code chapter—ongoing programming for local girls
  • Sail (April)—a day of student run workshops targeted for high school students
  • NCWIT Aspirations Awards (April)—recognizes high school girls for their interest in computer science
  • ChicTech Retreat (November)—an overnight retreat for high school girls

All of these outreach activities are funded by the CS Department, alumni donations, and corporate partners.


Cynthia Coleman
Cynthia Jeanette Coleman
Director of External Relations

Yael Gertner
Erin Henkelman
Office Manager