Historical Snapshot

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, TECH CORPS National Director, presents TECH CORPS to NCTET in Washington D.C. – 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 is held at Museum of Natural History auditorium, Washington D.C. – 300 people from across the country attend to learn how to charter a TECH CORPS state chapter.

1996: Cyber Ed

Through its 6-month national tour of Cyber Ed, a mobile technology classroom, TECH CORPS brought technology training and resources to 15 urban and rural communities
across the country, building an early awareness of the importance of technology in our schools and the role of school/community partnerships in making it happen.

1996: celebration of First Year

In the Indian Treaty Room at 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).

1997: webTeacher Launches

webTeacher launches with a 30-minute live program on The Learning Channel hosted by Bernard Shaw, featuring Vice President Gore, Decker Anstrom and Karen Smith. 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. 

1998: TECH CORPS Ohio Chartered

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. 

1999: Seed Funding

The TECH CORPS Ohio Planning Team leverages seed funding from Bank One (JPMorgan Chase), Battelle and The Columbus Foundation and hires Lisa M. Chambers as the full-time State Director. Starting with just six tech-savvy volunteers in five Columbus schools, TECH CORPS Ohio begins its work in the Central Ohio region.

1999: techs4schools

Recognizing the need for technical support in remote schools, TECH CORPS created techs4schools, one of the earliest Internet-based “chat rooms”, to link volunteer technology experts to K-12 teachers. In 2000, President Clinton applauded TECH CORPS and this critically important remote support during his Digital Divide Tour to Shiprock NM.


June 17, 2003 – TECH CORPS (Karen Smith and Gary Beach) opens NASDAQ – TECH CORPS logo hugely displayed on NASDAQ’s Times Square marquis!

2005: TECH CORPS Ohio received 501(c)3 status

In July 2004, TECH CORPS Ohio transitions from a program of the Franklin County Educational Council to an independently incorporated entity within the State of Ohio and in January 2005, receives its own 501(c)3 status.

2006: TECH CORPS Ohio begins to develop programs

Recognizing the need for more women and girls in IT.  TECH CORPS Ohio develops its first program, Girl TECH CORPS, an afterschool technology program for elementary school girls.

2010: TECH CORPS Ohio assumes National TECH CORPS Charter

Due to the successes the TECH CORPS Ohio chapter experiences as well as the local, state and national recognition of its programming, the National TECH CORPS Board of Trustees transfers all remaining assets to TECH CORPS Ohio thus establishing Columbus, Ohio as the national TECH CORPS headquarters.  

2011: TECH CORPS Ohio begins doing business as TECH CORPS, Chambers Named National Director

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.

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2015: TECH CORPS Develops Three New High School Programs, National Expansion Begins

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 begins to expand Techie Camp into Georgia, New Jersey and Rhode Island.


In partnership with the Teaching & Learning Collaborative, TECH CORPS develops E4Tech, an innovative professional development model and curriculum focused on the integration of computer science and computational thinking into mathematics for grades 3-4 and 5-6.

Tech Corps, Tech camps, Techie Camps, IT Camps, Technical Camps

2017: TECH CORPS Has Major Increases in Students Served, Impact and Revenue

TECH CORPS educates, excites and empowers more than 2,200 students – a 44% increase from last year. TECH CORPS also: develops new programs and introduced new content areas, including Cyber Security and 3D printing; increases the number of girls served annually to 41% and creates additional opportunities for TECH CORPS students to receive college credit or industry-recognized certificates (CompTIA).  10% of summer instructors are former TECH CORPS students.

2018: TECH CORPS Programs Expand in Three New States

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.


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. TECH CORPS programs are implemented with more than 2,200 students in seven states.

2020: 25th Anniversary

TECH CORPS celebrates 25th anniversary during a global pandemic by doing what it does best educating, exciting and empowering students with technology!  TECH CORPS converts four signature programs into virtual experiences and develops TECH CORPS Unplugged kits for students with limited or no internet access.

TC unplugged kids