Summer Immersion Program
The Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program represents an innovative approach to computer science education, pairing seven weeks of intensive instruction in robotics, web design, and mobile development with engaging, career-focused mentorship and exposure led by the industry's top female entrepreneurs and engineers.
Key programmatic components of the Girls Who Code Immersion Program include:
SKILLS: Seven weeks of intensive instruction in computer science, robotics, algorithms, web design, and mobile development
EXPOSURE: Speakers, demos, workshops, and presentations from female engineers and entrepreneurs; field trips to technology companies, startups, academic institutions and more
MENTORSHIP: Top female executives, entrepreneurs and engineers provide career and academic mentorship
“Girls Who Code was not just a coding program. I learned how to speak in front of a crowd, how to pitch my products to engineers, and how to teach others. I discovered that I can build my own applications and games and found my true passion. Girls Who Code gave me confidence in my abilities and helped me to see what I can accomplish in my life. I now know who I am, what I want to do, and how I am going to get there.” — Nikita, 16
The Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program embeds 20 rising high school juniors and seniors inside a technology company or university setting from 9-4PM each day. Here, young women get hands-on experience in computing concepts, programming fundamentals, mobile phone development, robotics, and web development and design. Project-based curricular modules allow participants to build products and develop innovative solutions designed to inspire an interest in and encourage their pursuit of computer science.
Daily classroom instruction is paired with talks, demos, and workshops led by inspiring female entrepreneurs, CEOs, developers, designers, and computer science majors who serve as mentors and role models throughout the program, each aligned with the subject matter discussed that week. Field trips to the tech giants such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, AT&T, Gilt Groupe, Foursquare, and the News Corp allow the young women to envision a future for themselves in this career and begin networking with those in the field.
The Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program curriculum is designed and research-proven to engage and encourage young women in computer science. Each topic, activity and speaker is chosen to empower the young women with the skills to contribute to their schools and communities.
“Our support for this initiative represents our commitment to invest in, encourage and empower more women pursuing opportunities in technology.”
—Dick Costolo, CEO, Twitter
Across all indicators, girls reported having a positive experience in the 2013 Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program, and demonstrate increased confidence, awareness of opportunities in computing, and intention to pursue computing in the future. The girls developed a tangible community, which not only fostered their interest in CS and their confidence, but will also persist with them and provide needed support as they continue in the field.
In 2013, our Summer Immersion Program achieved the following anecdotal and metrics-based outcomes:
- 95% of participants said they are definitely or more likely to consider a major / minor in computer science after participating in the Girls Who Code program.
- 99% of participants said they are considering pursuing a career in technology and 81% definitely intend to do so.
- 99% of participants believe that learning programming will help them get a good job.
- 94% of participants feel confident in their ability to use computers.
- 99% of participants said they would recommend Girls Who Code to other girls.
In their final projects, participants have designed and built a mobile applications to help handicapped New Yorkers navigate the city’s streets and subways, encourage girls to pursue math and science, a Twitter-based application to start book clubs with peers across the country, video games with complex layers, and even created an LED light up umbrella!
Following the program, many Girls Who Code alumnae returned to their schools to start Girls Who Code Clubs. They recruited other young women by wowing them with their newfound skills and taught semester-long courses at their schools. They petitioned principals and teachers to offer computer science courses, many of whom have taken this on.
This is just the beginning.
The Girls Who Code Clubs model is a yearlong program offering essential computer science education and exposure to middle and high-school aged girls nationwide. The model is built on monthly project-based activities and curricular objectives designed for implementation in a variety of settings -- from weekly after-school clubs to monthly workshops -- led by industry professionals trained in curriculum delivery and classroom management.
Following a successful pilot of Girls Who Code Clubs in New York and Boston, Girls Who Code launched Clubs in New York, Boston, Detroit, and the San Francisco Bay area in 2013. Together, in partnership with local schools, community organizations and industry partners, Girls Who Code will dramatically expand reach and increase impact in delivering computer science education to girls across the country.
If you are interested in starting a Club at your school, local library, or community center, click here for more information and to fill out our application. Applications for clubs must be filled out by a faculty member of the hosting location. If you are interested in volunteering to instruct a Girls Who Code club, click here.
Q: Girls Who Code is awesome, but there isn’t a Summer Immersion Program in my city. How can I bring Girls Who Code to my community?
A: As Girls Who Code grows, there will be opportunities for different organizations and individuals to get involved with our programs. Perhaps you can apply to start a Girls Who Code Club in your community (see above for details)! Please join our mailing list to receive news on our expansion to new cities. You can also continue to check the website as well as our Facebook and Twitter for exciting updates.
Q: I am going to be out of town during the Summer Immersion Program dates. Should I still apply?
A: All program participants must be able to commit to attending the entire seven week program. No exceptions.
Q: Who is eligible to apply for Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Programs?
A: Applicants must:
- Be a current sophomore or junior girl in high school.
- Commit to attending the full seven week long program in their respective location. The program runs Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm daily.
- Commute to and from the program every day. Girls Who Code does not provide housing or transportation for participants.
We value a diverse classroom and strongly encourage applications from:
- All ambitious girls interested in exploring opportunities in technology and computer science. Prior computer science experience is not required!
- Girls from all ethnic, racial, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. The program is free for all participants. Scholarship opportunities to cover transportation and lunch will be made available for students with limited financial resources.
Young women who meet these eligibility requirements but do not permanently reside in one of our 2014 Summer Immersion Program cities may be admitted to the program, provided they are able to meet the same attendance requirements as local students. All students are required to attend every day Monday-Friday from 9-4pm for the full 7 weeks of the program.
Q: Will Girls Who Code provide housing for participants of the Summer Immersion Programs?
A: Summer Immersion Programs run 9 – 4p, Monday through Friday. As this is a day program, girls must commute to and from the program site each day. If you are considering temporarily relocating to attend a Girls Who Code program, please note that we cannot provide or assist with boarding or transportation, and all participants are solely responsible for their own housing and transportation arrangements.
Q: How do I apply to attend a Summer Immersion Program?
A: Our 2014 Summer Immersion Program application is coming soon! Sign up here and we’ll email you as soon as it goes live.
Q: I don’t know anyone who has studied computer science; what would someone do with a degree in computer science?
A: We’re working to change that. Computer scientists, engineers, developers, and entrepreneurs improve the world in which we live each and every day. They find new ways to identify tumors, create systems that allow us to buy things from our beds, connect villages in far-away continents with clean water, animate your favorite movies, and constantly search for the next innovation. They are curious, creative, and eager to work with you.
Q: I don’t have any coding experience and/or I don’t think I want to be a Computer Scientist. Should I still apply to the Summer Immersion Program? Can I still start a GWC Club?
A. Yes! The Girls Who Code curriculum does not require you to have any previous experience with computer science or programming. Increasingly, elements of computer science are being used in all fields such as Health, Development, Finance, Business, Retail, and more! The leadership and cognitive skills you will learn will benefit you in any field you choose to explore.
Q: How can I start a Girls Who Code Club in my community?
A: If you are interested in starting a Club at your school, local library, or community center, click here for more information and a link to the application. Applications for clubs must be filled out by a faculty member of the hosting location.
If you are a qualified computer scientist, programmer, or developer who is interested in instructing a club as a volunteer, please click here to learn more about clubs and the application process. We will contact you as club locations near you become available!