Barbara Ericson,director of computer outreach and senior research scientist at Georgia Tech, and Donna Bowman, non-tech lead and event and volunteer lead for Black Girls Code Atlanta were recently on WABE 90.1 discussing their latest initiatives.

Georgia ranks 4th nationally for the number of African American students taking the Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Exam – a test high-school students can take to see if they qualify for college credits. However, despite this impressive statistic, Ericson and Bowman argue it’s not enough. Currently only 9% of AP Computer Science test takers in Georgia are African American.

Together, Georgia Tech and Black Girls Code Atlanta have been working to inspire more African American girls to get involved in coding and other STEM related activities. Targeted at girls aged 7-17, these programs seek to introduce girls to technology early on and continue to encourage them to pursue STEM related fields. One of Ericson’s programs, focused on improving AP Computer Science test scores, has helped raise the pass rate of African American students from 22% in 2012 to 60% in 2016. Another program sends letters home to students who do well on the PSAT exam, encouraging them to consider computer science courses in high school.

All of this is done with the hopes that more girls will becoming involved in STEM, and will give them the experience and skillsets to succeed in STEM related college programs. To learn more about Black Girls Code, visit their website here.

Original Article Here: http://news.wabe.org/post/closer-look-diversity-coding-ga-tornadoes-and-more

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