SCIS welcomes the Girls Who Code instructors, staff and high school students as they explore computing technology during their seven week immersion program.
Florida International University’s School of Computing and Information Sciences (SCIS) is pleased to announce its partnership with Girls Who Code – a national non-profit organization that seeks to inspire, educate and equip girls with computing skills for the 21st century – and continued involvement in the organization’s acclaimed seven-week Summer Immersion Program in 2015.
Miami, Florida (June 22, 2015) –
SCIS is thrilled to take part in Girls Who Code’s largest-ever expansion of its Summer Immersion Program, from 19 programs servicing 375 girls in 2014 to 60 programs reaching close to 1,200 girls in nine cities nationwide this summer. SCIS is proud to join companies such as Verizon, Accenture, Adobe, AIG, AT&T, Electronic Arts, Facebook, GE, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Pixar Animation Studios, The Honest Company, and Twitter in the critical movement to close the gender gap in the computing and technology sector.
SCIS Director, Dr. Iyengar said, “This is an excellent way to attract talented women students to computer science and information technology career paths.”
Currently, women make up the majority of the labor force nationwide, but hold only 25% of the jobs in computing and technical fields. By 2020, there will be 1.4 million jobs available in the computing related fields, but women educated in the U.S. are only on pace to filling 3% of these positions.
“The gender gap isn’t just a Silicon Valley issue anymore,” said Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code. “The shortage of women in technical roles, whether it’s retail, entertainment or finance, is a massive crisis both in terms of innovation and socio-economic equality throughout the United States. Girls Who Code has established a successful track record of empowering girls to pursue majors and eventually careers in computer science, and we’re inspired that a powerhouse organization such as Florida International University’s SCIS has invested in taking our movement to the next level this summer.”
SCIS is committed to improve the shortage of women talent in computing. The School leads Florida in graduating the most women with computing related degrees. With Tech Station, a new facility opening in Fall 2015, SCIS will strengthen this position and allow the School to compete nationally for attracting women to its programs. Tech Station’s innovative approach to integrating advising, mentoring, curriculum and laboratories, all in an attractive high tech office setting, creates a space for inspiration and creative thinking. The Girls Who Code Miami Summer Immersion Program at SCIS, hosted by Verizon, will be the first program to use the facility to engage its students.
Cristy Charters, SCIS instructor, commented: “By participating in the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program, SCIS hopes girls will gain confidence in their computing skills, and will begin to see themselves capable of entering the field and making valuable contributions. The facilities at FIU’s PG6 – Tech Station make learning about computing even more appealing, with state-of-the-art computer labs, active learning classrooms, and team breakout rooms that will encourage collaboration among the GWC students.” Cristy is one of several female faculty and instructors hired recently. SCIS has hired three female instructors in the last three years and promoted the computer science researcher and faculty advisor of the Women in Computer Sciences student organization.
The labs at Tech Station, funded by the Florida Board of Governors, provide faculty with the perfect opportunity to transform their teaching practices by offering hands-on activities that truly prepare students for future workforce needs. One of the Girls Who Code teacher assistants, Shahrine Islam, said, “The FIU team did an incredible job of creating an authentic and resourceful atmosphere that STEM students can thrive in. The Tech Station was designed with every detail in mind. Students can pick a variety of settings based on their needs. They can tinker in the “garage”, or plan up a storm in the team rooms. This allows the students to get a sense of what a creative environment should look like in the outside world. The decor is modern and inspirational.”
The seven-week Summer Immersion Program teaches young women – rising high school juniors and seniors – everything from mobile app development to robotics to web design, and participants will ultimately get a chance to see their products in real life.
In addition to classroom education, girls in the program receive exposure to the world of computer science, with field trips to major companies in the media and technology fields, as well as meeting some of the top executives of technology companies. No prior coding experience is required.
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About Girls Who Code
Girls Who Code is a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology. Through its Summer Immersion Program and Girls Who Code Clubs, the organization is leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. Additional information is available at Girls Who Code
About FIU and FIU’s School of Computing and Information Sciences
Florida International University (FIU), founded in 1965, is a public research state University in Greater Miami, Florida. FIU is the largest University in South Florida, the second largest in Florida, and the fourth largest in the United States, with over 54,000 students enrolled. The University offers 191 programs of study with more than 280 majors in 23 Colleges and Schools. FIU is first in the nation in awarding bachelor’s and master’s degrees to Hispanic students.
FIU’s School of Computing and Information Sciences, created in 1987, offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral computer science degree programs, and bachelor’s and master’s information technology degree programs, with over 2,200 students enrolled. The State University System ranked FIU first among universities for the percentage of IT-related graduates employed in Florida in their first year after graduation. According to the American Society for Engineering Education, the School is the fourth largest engineering-college-based computer science degree awarding program in the US.