CODING IS FOR ALL
Coding is a real-life superpower that almost anyone can learn. By writing code and developing applications (“apps”), coders can control the technologies that run our world. Unfortunately, even as coding skills become increasingly important, the number of women and minorities in the field are disproportionally low. Silicon Valley tech companies report that only 20 percent of tech employees are female, while under-represented minorities in tech number in the low double digits.
To counter this trend and help reduce the coding superpower gap, the University of California, Riverside, and Riverside Unified School District have teamed up to found UCR CS [Computer Science] 4 ALL CODE CAMP. The program is inspired by CSforAll, an initiative developed by the National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Education to empower all American students to become active citizens in our technology-driven world. Because students from female and under-represented populations usually do not take computer courses during the school year, the camp is aimed at increasing female and under-represented minority participation by making the class welcoming to all, regardless of gender or racial background.
UCR CS 4 ALL CODE CAMP, a free one-week intensive program which will run three times: (Session 1: Beginner/Intermediate) June 25, 2018- June 29, 2018, (Session 2: Beginner/Intermediate) July 9, 2018 - July 13, 2018, and (Session 3: Advanced) July 23, 2018 - July 27, 2018, will be led by Kelly Downey, a tech-savvy UC Riverside computer-science lecturer. She will be assisted by three UCR students from diverse backgrounds, who will serve as teaching assistants and mentors. Not only will the program provide a solid coding foundation, but it will also provide girls and under-represented students, and those supporting them, with role models showing them that computer science is a viable field. THIS PROGRAM IS OPEN TO STUDENTS ENTERING 9th-12th GRADE (2018-2019 Academic Year) IN RUSD.
Students will receive a Kindle that will be used to complete coding exercises and course projects. Throughout the week, students will participate in talks and group projects, and be involved in fun, interactive labs. They will discover that they can code, that a computer science career is a great option, and that many female and under-represented students succeed in these fields. Students will improve their practical computer skills, become better problem-solvers, and discover that coders have the power to create websites, apps, and software for any field, including health, art, law, and education.
UCR CS 4 ALL CODE CAMP will culminate in a showcase highlighting the applications created by the students and the coding superpowers the students have developed during the week. Parents and family members are invited to attend this showcase.
During the camp, students will be encouraged to take computer classes in high school and study computer science in college. While it will take time to determine program success, we anticipate that the number of girls and under-represented students taking computer science classes and majoring in computer science in college will increase as a direct result of this program.
Due to the pace of this program and the amount of information students will be learning, they MUST commit to attending all five days.
Girls who take AP Computer Science in high school are ten times more likely to major in it in college, and Black and Hispanic students are seven times more likely.
“We have to emphasize technology and coding as an attainable career path for all students and encourage diversity in these fields because these are future-proof fields that will continue to grow and offer a wide spectrum of fulfilling and high-paying jobs,” -Dr. Angelov Farooq, RUSD Board of Education
The University of California, in accordance with applicable Federal and State law and University policy, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, disability, age, medical condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era veteran or special disabled veteran.