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Cognizant Innovation in Computer Science Education Awards Cognizant Innovation in Computer Science Education Awards

A student is working at a laptop, the view is from above

The Cognizant Innovation in Computer Science Education Awards recognize outstanding educators and individuals advocating for and expanding access to PK-12 computer science education across the United States—2021 is the inaugural year for these awards.  

About the Awards

Building a diverse and equitable workforce begins with PK-12 computer science. We have a responsibility to ensure today’s students are equipped with the competencies and skills to succeed in the jobs of tomorrow, and to do this, it is critical to provide all students with computer science education starting at an early age. 

Through support from the Cognizant Foundation, these awards were established to identify individuals who have demonstrated measurable impact expanding access to and advocating for PK-12 computer science education. One winner will be recognized within each of the two distinct award categories below:

  • School-Based Award—educator or school leader (only open to Teach For America corps members and alumni) working to expand access to computer science education
  • Systems-Level Award—individual working to advocate for and expand access to computer science education at the district, state, or national level. 

Each winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize and communications opportunities with Teach For America and Cognizant's audiences.

Selection Criteria

We are looking for school-based and systems-level leaders who have demonstrated the following:

  • Innovation: implements new, bold thinking and/or practices
  • Impact: drives concrete, measurable results 
  • Equity: embodies a commitment to equity and belonging
  • Computer science: is passionate about expanding computer science educational opportunities

Application and Nomination Information

The application period for the 2021 Cognizant Innovation in CS Awards is now closed. Please stay connected to Teach For America on the announcement of the award winners in December 2021 and for updates on next year's awards.


The Cognizant Foundation works to inspire, educate and prepare people of all ages to succeed in the workforce of today and tomorrow.