Bring in the girls

Two years ago, I put on a hackathon at our school library for students to come and learn to code. It was poorly attended, but one girl did attend. At the end of the week-long event, she asked if we would like to sponsor a chapter of Girls Who Code. Our female CS teacher, our librarian, and I agreed to help her for next year. When the next school year started, we discovered that the student has the program ready to go.

For the course of the year, we served as sponsors for a student-run club. Every Monday for 90 minutes, the student and 15 other girls met to learn computer science 1.

This year, the girls took it a step further and started their own non-profit, Connect(ed), to teach coding to area elementary school students.

Sometimes, even when you don’t think something is successful, it is. The message: keep trying to get in the girls. No step is too small.

By 2020, we are going to have over 1 million unfilled jobs in the CS industry. Be need to fill that hole. If girls equaled the numbers of boys, we would fill that number. Imagine the difference we would see…

To help get you started, I’ve compiled my favorite programs that you can join or host your own to get girls into STEM. Check out Girl Power and fennovation.org for all things STEAM. Enjoy!

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