In 1984, 37% of all computer science graduates were women, but today that number is just 18%. 20% of AP Computer Science test-takers are female, and 0.4% of high school girls express interest in majoring in Computer Science.
Reshma Saujani founded the Girls Who Code organization to change those statistics with a mission to inspire, educate, and equip girls with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities.
Girls Who Code promotes clubs during the school year, summer immersion programs, and inspiration all the time (ImAGirlWhoCodes.com)
The Girls Who Code Club offer computer science education and tech industry exposure to 6th-12th grade girls throughout the academic year. Young women who join the club will learn everything from mobile development, to cryptography to video game design. Find a local club GirlsWhoCode.com/clubs/
In Rhode Island, the Providence Community Library’s Rochambeau branch hosts a Girls Who Code Club, and it’s free and open to the public. Gryte Satas from Brown University’s Computer Science Department leads the club. Meetings at 708 Hope St. on Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. Club membership requires registration, visit the library, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 401-272-3780 for information. www.provcomlib.org/locations/rochambeau
Girls Who Code created a Summer Immersion Program, a 7-week computer science course inside technology companies and universities. Students learn the fundamentals of computer science – from robotics to how to build a webpage – while gaining exposure to the tech industry and mentorship from women working in technology. Apply Now ( GirlsWhoCode.fluidreview.com ) for the 2016 Summer Immersion Program! Limited to current high school sophomores or juniors. Applications are due March 1 at 11:59pm PST.
In 2016, Girls Who Code is teaming up with a record number of major companies and philanthropic foundations for its annual Summer Immersion Program and providing $1 million in scholarships for girls to attend. In all, the companies will host 78 free programs serving 1560 girls. Available in 11 cities including Boston, New York, Chicago, DC, Los Angeles, Miami, Seattle, Newark, and across the San Francisco Bay Area, with programs being held in Austin and Atlanta for the first time. The scholarship money will go towards helping girls make up for lost wages due to program participation and transportation costs. Scholarship recipients are determined based on financial need.
For even more ideas about girls coding, check out Mashable.com’s “8 ways you can empower girls to learn coding” mashable.com/2016/01/27/girls-coding-how-to-help/