The Company will deploy the funds to build the solution of choice for K-12 schools and districts, offering state-of-the-art, standards-aligned AI and computer science courses for every learner.

Author: The Kira Learning Team

Date: June 7, 2022

San Francisco — June 7, 2022 — Kira Learning today announced $6 million in seed capital led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Dr. Andrew Ng’s AI Fund to build the solution of choice for K-12 schools and districts seeking state-of-the-art, standards-aligned computer science courses for all learners. Kira Learning’s first micro-course – being piloted this summer –  guides 9th grade students from an introduction to coding principles to programming a neural network.

“We’re excited to help a new generation of learners access the promise of Computer Science and AI. The Kira Learning team is fortunate to benefit from the experienced perspective of some extraordinary advisors, investors, and partners, and we are grateful to count Dr. Andrew Ng and investors like NEA among them,” said Andrea Pasinetti, Founder and CEO, Kira Learning.

Dr. Ng – artificial intelligence pioneer, founding lead of Google Brain, Adjunct Professor at Stanford University, Kira Learning Chairman, and one of the world’s most well-regarded computer science educators – is working with the team to design and teach Kira Learning’s introductory K-12 artificial intelligence course.

“Similar to English and Math, Computing will be central to our children’s lives and careers.  This shift will be a big challenge for schools and school systems already strained by post-pandemic learning loss and teacher shortages,” said Dr. Andrew Ng.

Kira Learning Founder and CEO Andrea Pasinetti is a first-generation American entrepreneur, engineer, and graduate of Stanford’s MBA program. He’s set to graduate Stanford’s MS CS program with a focus on AI and systems, and brings extensive international experience working on equity in education.

Before founding Kira Learning in 2022, Pasinetti spent a decade building equitable, accessible, and quality education pathways for thousands of students in rural China as the founder and CEO of international education nonprofit Teach For China. As of today, Teach For China has placed more than 2,700 teaching fellows in 389 high-need schools across five rural Chinese provinces.

Kira Learning is starting with AI and Computer Science because that’s where the need is most acute. Over time, the company will extend to other STEM disciplines, giving teachers and students equitable access to resources at the cutting edge of industry and learning - irrespective of whether they attend school in the hollers of Kentucky, Queens NY, Beijing, or Bangalore.

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Breaking out of the boutique – by  the numbers:

  • 7 in 10 U.S. parents and guardians of students in grades 7-12 say it is important for their child to learn computer science, according to Gallup.
  • Policymakers across the world are actively considering how best to fund K-12 computer science learning, and they have steered hundreds of millions of dollars into STEM education. Yet despite this, delivering outcomes that support teachers and learners has stalled.
  • Teachers spend 7-12 hours per week searching for teaching materials that don’t measure up.
  • And data from Gallup and EdReports shows parents, teachers and students need more support.
  • 78% of Black parents say learning computer science is important for their child, including more than half (52%) who say it is very important.
  • Less than 27% of teachers are satisfied with computer science learning opportunities at their schools.