Coding for Good: Zeeshan Patel

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“I love mentorship and I love spreading knowledge about things I am passionate about, in this case all things STEM. Seeing students who previously had barely any experience in STEM excel in these fields brings me joy.”

“Coding Cosines is a STEM based nonprofit which aims to provide all students, regardless of their socioeconomic status, a top notch stem education. Coding Cosigns was founded in January of 2018. We teach students lots of different subjects in STEM, varying from general science, such as physics, biology, chemistry, advanced mathematics, and computer science. We host all these classes for free. Our goal is to allow opportunities for children who aren’t able to pay for super expensive extra classes outside of school or advanced mathematics courses or other science courses. We want to provide them a chance to actually experience STEM fields and get a sense of what it would be like to have a career in them. We’ve impacted over 250 students and currently we will have a class of about 80 students in the fall that should put us above four hundred students. 

Our defining factor is the uniqueness of our curriculum: we apply an interdisciplinary approach when teaching Computer Science. Our curriculum merges mathematics, physical/life science, and CS by exposing students to the applications of CS in math and science. Our specialized scientific computing classes cover all STEM fields, something that isn’t done by other NPOs. 

The specific moment that really clicked to me was when one of my family friends said that one of their family members was unable to afford specific STEM classes outside school due to the sheer price of them. I also know that these courses are worth thousands of dollars, and additionally, I made various trips to India. Over there, I’ve seen like lots of children working/child labor. So because of that, that kind of clicked to me. I have experiences, then maybe I can help them with their education. Closing that educational gap was my goal, and I thought that the best way to do this is to provide free education and to establish itself as an organization, so I made Coding Cosines into a nonprofit.

My perspective regarding specialized STEM education has largely changed. I have been able to recognize how a deep, generational chain of educational issues is caused by financial inequities. This has expanded my mindset regarding equality in STEM education, and it has changed my future plans by motivating me to continue my efforts for the rest of my life.

Coding Cosigns has been recognized by a few different podcasts, and a few different shows have called us. One of those shows is the Bay Area Beat. We had our episode there in 2019 about Coding Cosines. They also helped us market our non-profit to their audience. Our students have competed in the Math Kangaroo, the AMC, and many FIRST robotics competitions. Our students have excelled at all those competitions. We’ve had many students qualify for the National Math kangaroo. We also had students on the honor roll for the AMC eight. Additionally, we also had a high school team of 4 of our students win a Bay Area Hackathon. 

My plans for Coding Cosines include expanding our outreach across the U.S. and internationally, acquiring more sponsors for our programs, and including more diverse topics in our curriculum. I aim to stay with the organization throughout my future professional career  and help it reach new heights  by helping close the STEM education gap across the world.”