Time is running out to sign up for a free summer program dedicated to giving young women an opportunity to develop tech skills and to explore STEM career paths. The Girl’s Coding Program was created in partnership between AT&T and the CNY STEM Hub and is looking for 50 girls in 7th through 12th grade who want to gain hands-on experience with basic coding. Director of Communications at SRC Lisa Mondello says with baby boomers retiring faster than ever, young women have a chance to break into the male-dominated tech industry.
"Nationwide, the percentage of women in STEM fields is very low. As we look at staffing shortages, we need to find new people qualified for these positions. The women are a great underserved market, as well as some of the inner city markets, where they may not be getting the extra push of education and guidance.”
The program will run July 23rd until August 2nd at the Syracuse Academy of Science. Local industry professionals will lead classes on coding, as well as workshops on good digital citizenship. Mondello says group projects and games will teach students to troubleshoot and fix bugs.
"Going through and finding that mistake, that missing punctuation, something that will throw the code off so that it won't perform. It sounds very intimidating for a lot of people to learn that. But through fun activities and games, they will make them aware of how to learn to code without being so inhibited.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there will be 2.4 million unfilled jobs in the fields of science and technology by 2020. The organizers are committed to giving CNY girls an opportunity to compete in the ever-expanding industry of computer engineering.
“Computer science, computer engineers, programmers, application engineers, they're the ones behind all the technology we use, everything from your phone to your computer to the radars SRC develops," Mondello said. "When you talk about the future of jobs, there's always going to be programming and software, and they'll need the coders behind it. If you're a female, the demand will be extra high.”
The deadline for admission to the Girl’s Coding Program is this Sunday, July 8th. To register, visit cnystem.com.