Code Girls United
They provide an opportunity for girls to see if they like working with technology, and provide the opportunity to try it out. Girls, 4th – 8th grade, meet weekly after school throughout the year. The first half of the year involves learning the basics of Computer Science. The second half of the year, the girls split into teams to choose a service project, then complete a business case and then code their app. The girls then compete in local, country, and international competitions.
During the mid-1990s, 35% of computer science jobs were filled by women. Now, almost 30 years later, only 24% of computer science jobs are filled by women. According to the American Association of University Women, this trend can be reversed by removing negative connotations around women in computer science and engaging young girls at the elementary level. Code Girls United leads young girls to open doors to their own futures. They teach coding and practical business skills to build self-confidence and lead to high-tech, high paying careers.
Computer science education is not a K-12 educational requirement in the state of Montana. Typically, school districts in the most populated areas have implemented some sort of STEM program, but the rural and tribal areas have been left behind and don’t have access to these opportunities or female mentorship. For the schools that do offer High School Computer Science programs, girls are often self-selecting out of these types of programs to date, there has never been a girl in Montana who has taken the AP Computer Science test, which they aim to change.