13
Apr

Girls Who Code will triple its national footprint in 2016!

President Obama announced new “CS for All’ commitments during White House Science Fair

WASHINGTON, DC (April 13, 2016) — Girls Who Code is committing to launch 1,500 Computer Science clubs in the 2015-2016 school year, tripling its national footprint. This expansion will increase Girls Who Code’s exposure to 40,000 students, up from 13,000 today. The commitment was announced as part of President Obama’s broader ‘Computer Science for All’ program and new “Educate to Innovate” campaign during the White House Science Fair. Girls Who Code’s commitment to expand access to computer science will support the Administration’s efforts to give all students across the country the chance to learn computer science (CS) in school.

Access to CS education is a crucial step to ensure that our nation remains competitive in the global economy. By 2020, there will be 1.4 million jobs open in computing but US graduates are on track to fill 28% of those jobs. The shortage of skilled workers for technical roles isn’t just an issue for the tech sector, but for a growing number of industries like entertainment, retail and finance. In fact, over two-thirds (66%) of all tech jobs are outside the tech sector. The disparities for those with access to CS education is equally problematic. According to the latest White House Fact Sheet on the subject, in 2015 less than 15% of all high schools offer any Advanced Placement (AP) CS courses, and only 22% of students who took the exam were girls. Media portrayals and lack of role models are partly to blame for the disparity, with far more men than women depicted in technology roles in film and television.

Girls Who Code is a national nonprofit working to close the gender gap in tech. The organization offers year-round programming to girls ages 13-17 through their Clubs and Summer Immersion Program. Girls Who Code Clubs provide a safe space for girls to explore computer science and build technical skills while increasing their confidence and building community with other girls interested in CS. The free, project-based curriculum is taught weekly by volunteer instructors, and host locations provide the necessary space and equipment.

More information on Girls Who Code is available at girlswhocode.com.