By Katina Paron
Managing editor of Teen Voices
Thursday, February 27, 2014
For one teen in this video it's the chance to work on something to help Alzheimer's disease. For another it's the idea of making technology geared to girls and women. Reframing the male-dominated stereotypes is helping to fire them all up.
Credit: Nadir Hashmi/NA.dir on Flickr, under Creative Commons
NEW YORK (WOMENSENEWS)--Encouragement, community, recognition and sponsorship. These are all needed to spark girls' interest in computer science and make up for the "headwind" boys enjoy in this field, Ruth Farmer, director of strategic initiatives with the National Center for Women and Information Technology, told a recent gathering here. The focus of the event was to share strategies for getting young women interested in computer science, in light of the recent attention-getting news that last year fewer than 20 percent of teens who took the Advanced Placement Computer Science test were females.
"There's not a shortage of smart girls in math," Farmer told the group. "There is a shortage of smart girls in math who get into technology."
The stars of the event were female teens from Girls Who Code, a training program for teenagers, and the Academy of Software Engineering, a New York City public high school that incorporates tech internships and mentoring.
One of student participants was Helen Denisenko, who described how programming appealed to her inner-activist. "Being introduced to computing, I don't say anymore 'I am going to end world hunger,'" she told the group. Now, she asks herself how she can use technology to help people break through roadblocks for advancement.
This story is part of Teen Voices at Women's eNews. In 2013 Women's eNews retained the 25-year-old magazine Teen Voices to continue and further its mission to improve the world for female teens through media. Teen Voices at Women's eNews provides online stories and commentary about issues directly affecting female teens around the world, serving as an outlet for young women to share their experiences and views.
Katina Paron is managing editor of Teen Voices at Women's eNews and director of the NYC High School Journalism Collaborative.
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