Curriculum and Software

Our Hour of Code lesson is a great, self-paced activity to introduce students to Bootstrap.

Bootstrap:1 applies mathematical concepts and rigorous programming principles to creating a simple videogame, and is aligned to National and State Standards for Mathematics -- including the new standards for Mathematical Practice!

Bootstrap:2 goes deeper into programming, building events and data structures on top of the foundation laid by Bootstrap:1 and allowing students to build far more sophisticated programs. We've listed the breakdown of concepts in the table below, so you can find the best fit for your class.

Current Bootstrap Teachers

Note: We pilot-tested our Physics, Lightweight Data Science, and CS1 content with teachers during summer 2016. We are preparing those materials for more general release.

What about afterschool?

Afterschool clubs often have lower student expectations for attendance and rigor, which makes implementation challenging. We recommend at least 90min/wk and 75+% attendance for a successful implementation. Delivering a formal curriculum in an informal setting places enormous pressure on the instructor. We strongly recommend that any afterschool educator attend our training.
Bootstrap:1 Recommended for: Grades 7-10

Students create a simple, 3-character game involving a player, a target and a danger. They design what each character looks like, and use algebraic concepts to detect collisions, handle keystrokes, and determine how they move and interact.


  • Word Problems
  • Coordinate planes
  • Order of Operations
  • Variables
  • Functions
  • Input/Output Tables
  • Domain and Range
  • Function Composition
  • Inequalities in the Plane
  • Piecewise Functions
  • Pythagorean Theorem
  • Number lines


  • Numbers, Strings and Images
  • Defining Functions
  • Unit Testing
  • Boolean Logic
  • Multi-input Functions
  • Mixed-Type Functions
Bootstrap:2 Recommended for: Grades 8-11

Students learn how the world-based event loop that drives their Bootstrap:1 game works, and use it to create animations using simple datatypes for their world. They then learn about data structures, and design a World structure for a sophisticated game of their own design.


  • Complex functional relationships
  • Exploring Randomness
  • Connections to Trigonometry


  • Event-Driven Programming
  • Data Structures
  • Whole-Program Design
  • Data Modeling
  • Encapsulation
  • Connections to recursion, lists, and algorithms

In Development

  • Bootstrap: Physics & Modeling
  • Bootstrap: Lightweight Data Science


Bootstrap uses WeScheme, a cloud-based IDE that requires no downloading or installation. Anyone with a Gmail account can start developing with WeScheme, storing and retrieving files from the cloud and doing all of their editing in a modern browser. Additionally, WeScheme programs can be shared simply by sending out a link, or posting it to sites such as Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, etc.

Want to run everything locally? Bootstrap also supports DrRacket, a multi-platform graphical environment. DrRacket runs on all major platforms (Windows, OS X, Unix/Linux) and programs written for one platform run seamlessly on the others, supporting a wide variety of classroom and home computing scenarios. Its emphasis on beginner-friendly features and support for images makes it ideal for Bootstrap.


A tool designed for learning should be accessible to all students. We work hard to ensure that our software environments are compatible with screen-readers on popular operating systems.

After Bootstrap

If you've completed the entire Bootstrap curriculum, you'll be happy to know that your class can move on to advanced material, without needing to learn a new language! Here are just a few of the options available to Bootstrap teachers:
  • Picturing Programs focuses heavily on images and animation, as students explore recursion, lists, trees and algorithms -- all using the same language and Design Recipe they've learned in Bootstrap.
  • How to Design Programs is a textbook aimed at more college-level audiences, going beyond the material covered in Picturing Programs. HtDP is currently in its second edition, and the material is being actively updated.