By the year 2020, it’s estimated that only 3% of the 1.4 million computer science jobs in the United States will be held by women. The Girls Coding Project wants to change that.
The Girls Coding Project is a two-week learning experience for girls entering the 6th through 12th grades, organized by WNY STEM in collaboration with Girl Scouts of WNY and SUNY Buffalo State. Sessions are held in the SUNY Buffalo State Technology Building, home of the college’s Computer Information Systems Department. The goal is to encourage more young women to pursue computer science education and to become part of WNY’s growing technology workforce.
“Participating in The Girls Coding Project last summer made me aware of the potential in my future with computer science. I learned a lot and am excited to continue learning.”
The Girls Coding Project began in 2016 as It’s Your World! Develop It! Powered by AT&T to introduce girls to computer coding. It continued into the fall of 2016 and winter of 2017, and was repeated in the summer of 2017 when the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County and GM Tonawanda Engine joined the partnership.
In 2018, The Girls Coding Project will expand to offer an Advanced level computer science training to the 75 girls who have mastered computer coding basics taught in the initial experiences, while repeating the in-demand introductory session. This two-tiered approach (Introductory and Advanced sessions) will add a more rigorous, real-world component. It’s also a complement to the STEM initiatives that are priorities for Girl Scouts.
The Introductory Program will target urban scout groups, and high need community centers and schools. The Introductory Program will engage first-time attendees learning coding basics and developing apps, games, websites using programs like Alice 2.0.
The Advanced Program girls (recruited from our previous two program years) will work on self-guided group or individual coding language learning using Code.org and other online resources. An exemplar project is the WNY Family Resource App developed by girls from the first cohort in collaboration with professional developers.
Each session will end with a Demonstration Day for families and community members to view the girls’ work.
All the participating girls will be guided by campus professors, area tech professionals, educators, and other computer advocates. Women mentors will introduce the girls to entrepreneurship, leadership development, and the wide range of career pathways available to a computer scientist and skilled computer coder.
Sponsorship opportunities are available!
For more information, contact Cherie Messore, Executive Director