Across all industries, computational thinking is becoming as important a skill set as numeracy and literacy. To prepare our children for the jobs of the future, we need computer science education both in and out of school. Despite making up half of our K-12 student population and nearly 60% of college enrollments, girls and women are far less likely than boys and men to study computing and earn degrees and careers in related fields.

The founders of HowGirlsCode saw the statistics as an opportunity. Together, they used their shared passion for improving educational opportunities for girls to develop an after-school computer science class. The weekly sessions included “unplugged” games, block programming activities, and a guest speaker series that gave the girls inspiration and information about the varied careers in which computer science plays a role. HowGirlsCode later added a summer camp program to provide even more access to girls interested in coding and robotics. In just three years, HowGirlsCode held 50 after-school courses and 5 summer camp sessions, educating and engaging more than 800 girls in computer science.

With the dedication of our instructors, passion of our volunteers, involvement of our partners and support of our generous donors, HowGirlsCode continues to encourage elementary-age girls to see a place for themselves in the world of computer science, and to see a place for computer science in their worlds.