TECH CORPS Historical Snapshot
TECH CORPS was founded in 1995 by Gary Beach, Publisher Emeritus of CIO Magazine. Gary envisioned an organization which would challenge American volunteers to help K-12 schools build a technology infrastructure — much like the Peace Corps challenges men and women to help developing countries build their infrastructures. TECH CORPS established a national office in Massachusetts to oversee the TECH CORPS mission and agenda, assist in the formation and maintenance of state chapters, and ensure quality at all levels.
- October 1, 1995 – Karen Smith presents TECH CORPS to NCTET in Washington DC – announces Oct 30 Chartering Conference.
- October 4, 1995 – TECH CORPS officially incorporates as a Washington DC corporation
- October 10, 1995 – President Clinton announces TECH CORPS at press event in Roosevelt Room, White House.
- October 30, 1995 – Chartering Conference (full day) is held at Museum of Natural History auditorium, Washington DC – 300 people from across the country attend to learn how to charter a state chapter.
In the Indian Treaty Room @ The White House, Vice President Al Gore addresses attendees and recognizes TECH CORPS accomplishments in just one year – national sponsors recognized (MCI, CTIA, Digital Equipment).
In 1997, webTeacher launches with a 30-minute live program on The Learning Channel hosted by Bernard Shaw, featuring Al Gore, Karen Smith, Decker Anstrom (NCTA). webTeacher is a comprehensive, interactive, 80-hour, self-guided and self-paced tutorial available in both English and Spanish to teachers for free over the Internet. Created for teachers by teachers, webTeacher’s tutorials are designed to help educators master the Internet and integrate new technologies into student learning.
TECH CORPS Ohio received its TECH CORPS charter and affiliated with the Franklin County Educational Council and Science and Mathematics Network. The Science and Mathematics Network Executive Director was designated Acting State Director and a Regional Planning Team was formed to assist the organization in becoming fully operational.
In 1999, the Planning Team leveraged seed funding from Bank One (JPMorgan Chase), Battelle and The Columbus Foundation and hired Lisa M. Chambers as the full-time State Director. Starting with just six tech-savvy volunteers in five Columbus schools, TECH CORPS Ohio has gone on to experience significant success in realizing the goals of the TECH CORPS mission. Since 1999, TECH CORPS has recruited, trained and supported more than 1,000 technology volunteers who have shared their time and talents assisting hundreds of Ohio schools and youth-serving organizations. TECH CORPS programs in Ohio have impacted thousands of K-12 students and teachers in more than 25 Ohio counties.
June 17, 2003 – TECH CORPS (Karen Smith and Gary Beach) opens NASDAQ – TECH CORPS logo hugely displayed on NASDAQ’s Times Square marquis!
In July 2004, TECH CORPS Ohio transitioned from a program of the Franklin County Educational Council to an independently incorporated entity within the State of Ohio and in January 2005, received its own 501(c)3 status. American Electric Power and the Smoot Family Foundation sponsored TECH CORPS Ohio through its organizational transition.
TECH CORPS Ohio begins to develop new programs: Girl TECH CORPS in 2006, Camp IT in 2007, Techie Club in 2008, Techie Camp in 2009 and Student WEB CORPS in 2012. Three of these programs have been implemented by other TECH CORPS state chapters.
In the summer of 2009, TECH CORPS Ohio introduced a social enterprise business model with the creation of Techie Camp. Techie Camp is a week-long, full day technology summer camp that introduces elementary and middle school students to robotics, programming android app and web development. The Techie Camp program is supported through student tuition and corporate, foundation and individual contributions for students whose parents are unable to fund this experience.
Due to the successes, the TECH CORPS Ohio chapter experienced as well as the local, state and national recognition of its programming, the National TECH CORPS Board of Trustees transferred all remaining assets to TECH CORPS Ohio thus establishing Columbus, Ohio as the national TECH CORPS headquarters.
TECH CORPS Ohio takes its years of experience and begins to restructure the TECH CORPS mode of operation thus reestablishing a national organization with the framework, infrastructure and flexibility to swiftly and efficiently meet the changing technology needs of our nation’s K-12 students and schools. Lisa M. Chambers is named National Executive Director.
With support from public and private partners, TECH CORPS develops three new signature programs for high school students: Computing Career Corps, High School Coding Camp (High School Tech Camp) and Student Code Corps. With a two-year leadership investment from the Nordson Corporation Foundation, TECH CORPS will begin to expand Techie Camp into Nordson communities in Georgia, New Jersey and Rhode Island.
Together, with our partners, we provided access to high-quality computer science programs to more than 1,600 students. We expanded our reach into three new states (GA, NJ and RI), and we identified a strategy for awarding college credit to students in our Student WEB CORPS program. In partnership with the Teaching & Learning Collaborative, we developed E4Tech, an innovative curriculum and professional development model that empowers elementary school teachers to bring computer science into their classrooms in a way that transforms learning.
TECH CORPS educates, excites and empowers more than 2,200 students – a 44% increase from last year. TECH CORPS also: developed new programs and introduced new content areas, including Cyber Security and 3D printing; increased the number of girls served annually to 41% and created additional opportunities for TECH CORPS students to receive college credit or industry-recognized certificates (CompTIA). Finally, 10% of our summer instructors were former TECH CORPS students. These brilliant young people are pursuing technology-related degrees, and they are all great examples of why we do the work we do.
With support from Nordson Corporation Foundation, TECH CORPS successfully expands its Techie Camps into California and Colorado. Through a growing partnership with KeyBank, TECH CORPS delivers Techie Workshops in New York (Buffalo and Albany) and Colorado. In total, TECH CORPS delivers 137 programs designed to educate, excite and empower nearly 2,300 students and 56 teachers. TECH CORPS increased the percent of Hispanic students served annually from 7% in 2017 to 15% in 2018. Finally, we celebrate the continued successes of our TECH CORPS students as they move along the technology pathway from TECH CORPS programs to college and credential to career.
The Columbus Foundation recognizes TECH CORPS as one of five innovative Central Ohio organizations poised for an exceptional year of growth and progress during its “5 Nonprofits to Watch” event. To celebrate CSEdWeek, TECH CORPS and Hyland Software teamed up and develop a series of free computer science lessons for all K-12 classrooms. The lessons are implemented with nearly 10,000 students in Ohio, Kansas, Delaware and Missouri. Techie Camp is implemented in 36 cities in six states. TECH CORPS delivers 140 programs designed to educate, excite and empower nearly 2,200 students and 46 teachers.