In an episode of an early season of “The Big Bang Theory”, Sheldon Cooper and his friends pinpoint one of the problems in higher education, the gender gap that often exists within certain STEM-related majors and programs. Cooper realizes quickly that the conundrum originates from a lack of education in the formative years, but fails to address the issue until bringing in two of the show’s female scientist characters. Much like those characters, the two women that comprise KWU’s Computer Studies department have announced an event to help begin that education before college.
On Sept. 30, the Computer Studies department will launch a Girls Exploring Tech event in Peters Science Hall. The event will be free for girls in grades 9-12. The program will be a Raspberry Pi coding workshop led by Department Chair Dr. Annie Hoekman, and all materials will be provided. The event continues the following Monday, Oct. 7, with a demonstration of the programming done by the students during the week. Students will then be able to apply for the National Center for Women & Informational Technology (NCWIT) Aspirations in Computing Award.
“The gender gap in computer science is real, as statistics show that the percentage of women working in computer science has fallen nearly 10 percent over the past 20 years,” said Dr. Hoekman. “There are a lot of opportunities for women in computer science, and even STEM as a whole, and events like this are a great way to begin education about those.”
For more information on this event, see the included flyer or call Dr. Hoekman at 785-833-4441. Interested individuals may also email [email protected]. Funding for this event has been provided by NCWIT.