By Aditi Patil
A stunning statistic shows that in 1985, women were earning 37% of the computer science undergraduate degrees; however, by 2014, only 14% of the computer science undergraduate degrees were earned by women (1). In order to address the underrepresented role of women in the computer engineering field, I founded a new club that will begin this school year. The club focuses on teaching computer programming to high school girls so they can feel more prepared to take advanced computer programming classes in high school and college without the misconception of it being a “boy’s job.”
It is clear to see that there is a large disparity between middle school boys and girls in their knowledge of computers. Many boys, by the time they enter high school, have an avid knowledge of computers because it is a hobby they have been encouraged to pursue since they were very young. Girls, on the other hand, usually are not encouraged to partake in gaining computer skills or to learn about the many opportunities computer science can offer for future career paths. Reaching out to an audience of younger girls will help them grow up to be confident women who may be more inclined to pursue a career in the computer science field. The idea is not to force young girls to seek a job in the engineering field, but rather to open up the door for them to learn about computer science so that they can decide whether or not it appeals to them.
This club is very unique as it is one of the few exclusively girls-involved clubs, and more specifically, the only club about computer science for girls. These high schoolers will eventually grow to be adults and our future. These girls will become women, and they should contribute to the amazing feats that so many women are capable of achieving. I hope that the girls participating will get a novel experience and great knowledge about coding. I cannot wait to see who joins us this year! The club will meet every Tuesday in Room 743 with Ms. Kavner.