Grants Awarded for Python in Education

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The Python Software Foundation has been asked about Python in education quite a bit recently. People have asked, “Is there an official curriculum we can use?”, “Are there online resources?”, “Are there efforts happening to improve Python on mobile?”, and so on.

9 years ago we instituted the Education Summit at PyCon US where educators as well as students work together on initiatives and obstacles. Earlier this year we decided we needed to do more. In November of 2018, the PSF created the Python in Education Board Committee and it was tasked with finding initiatives to fund to help improve the presence of Python in education.

In January of this year, the Python in Education Board Committee launched a “request for ideas” phase taking suggestions from the community on what we should focus our funding on. After the RFI period, we came up with 3 areas of education we wanted to focus on and asked to receive grant proposals on the following: resources (curriculums, evaluations, studies, multidisciplinary projects), localization (primarily translations), and mobile (development on mobile devices).

We are happy to publish more details on the grants the PSF approved from this initiative!

Beeware

The BeeWare Project wants to make it possible for all Python developers to write native apps for desktop and mobile platforms. Most desktop operating systems and iOS are supported already, but Android needs attention. Since Android users outnumber other mobile OS users worldwide by over 3 to 1, we determined it is important to fund this project. Beeware was awarded a $50,000 grant to help improve Python on Android. Phase one will be starting soon with this set of goals:

  1. A port of the CPython runtime to Android, delivered as a binary library ready to install into an Android project.
  2. A JNI-based library for bridging between the Android runtime and the CPython runtime.
  3. A template for a Gradle project that can be used to deploy Python code on Android devices. 

Beeware announced that they are looking for contractors to help with the work. Check out their blog post for more information.

Python in Education Website

Educational resources are in demand.  The PSF awarded a grant of $12,000 USD to Meg Ray, to work on creating a Python in Education website where we can curate educational information from all over the world. Meg will begin by collecting resources and after auditing the shared information, she will work on organizing it on an official PSF webpage. This work will begin in October of 2019 so please keep an eye out for updates via tweets and blogs!

Friendly-tracebacks

Lastly is a project called friendly-tracebacks. This project is not in need of financial support but is asking the PSF to help publicize it.  Friendly-traceback aims to provide simplified tracebacks translated into as many languages as possible. The project maintainer is looking for volunteers to help with tasks such as documenting possible SyntaxError use cases and documenting exceptions that haven't already been covered. Read more on their blog for the full call to action from the maintainer.

We hope to continue this initiative yearly! Companies that are passionate about supporting Python in Education should get in touch; we can't continue our work without your support!  As a non-profit organization, the PSF depends on sponsorships and donations to support the Python community.

Donate to the PSF: https://www.python.org/psf/donations/
Sponsor the PSF: https://www.python.org/psf/sponsorship/

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