Girls Who Code: nurturing the next generation of technologists
In an effort to close the gender gap, Microsoft’s Girls Who Code summer immersion program teaches high-school girls everything from robotics to HTML to Web design and gives them the opportunity to be mentored by female engineers, entrepreneurs and others in tech.
Even though girls take as many high-level mathematics and science courses as their male peers and perform well overall, those fields are still traditionally dominated by men. The seeds of that disparity sprout early.
As the GirlsWhoCode.com “About” page says: “ Twenty percent of [Advanced Placement] Computer Science test-takers are female, and 0.4 percent of high school girls express interest in majoring in Computer Science. What’s going on?”
It didn’t always used to be this way. In 1984-just one generation ago–37 percent of all computer science graduates were women. Today that number is just over 18 percent.
Microsoft aims to change that. Supported by Microsoft YouthSpark–an international initiative to create opportunities for all youth to learn computing – Girls Who Code inspires, educates, and equips young women with the computing skills to innovate and participate in a male-dominated sector.
Just one of the ways Microsoft is providing support is by hosting a free, intensive seven-week Summer Immersion Program to reach 1,200 girls at 60 locations throughout the U.S., including Microsoft campuses in the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, New York City, and Redmond, Washington.
The girls will learn skills in computer science, robotics, web design, algorithms, and mobile development. All of these skills can be utilized on PC, Surface 3, or Lumia.
Also, attendees will network with mentors–top female executives, entrepreneurs, and engineers–and meet with other like-minded technology-loving young women to come up with new ideas and turn them into reality using code.
The 2015 Summer Immersive Program is already full, but if you have a family member or friend who will be a rising high school sophomore or junior in 2016, ask them to apply for next year’s program here. Please note that applicants must possess a U.S. address.
In addition, Microsoft values a diverse classroom and strongly encourages girls of all ethnic, racial, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds to apply.
We look forward to seeing what the young women of tomorrow can achieve!