IIT Offers Middle-School Computer Discovery Camp for Girls
The demand for computer science professionals continues to grow, but the numbers of women and underrepresented minorities entering the field are not keeping pace. Addressing this, Illinois Institute of Technology will offer a two-week camp to help middle-school girls to learn about and enjoy computers.
The IIT Middle-School Computer Discovery Camp for Girls, sponsored by the IIT College of Science and Letters and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, will be held Mondays to Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., July 18-28, on IIT's Main Campus. Vida Winans (CS MS '90), senior instructor of computer science, will lead participants in a variety of hands-on activities to develop their interest and skills.
The camp is based on a program hosted at IIT last summer, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) "Broadening Participation in Computing" program.
High-achieving, motivated girls who will enter grades 7-9 this fall are eligible. Students from populations underrepresented in computer science and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), including African-American, Hispanic and Native American students, are especially encouraged to apply. The cost for the Middle-School Computer Discovery Camp for Girls is $475.00; need-based scholarships are available. To learn more, see https://sites.google.com/site/iitcomputerdiscoverycamp/registration.
According to NSF, STEM jobs will grow at twice the rate of the economy to 2018, with the largest growth in computer and mathematics occupations.
Yet a recent American Association of University Women study entitled "Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics" noted, "Women's representation among computer science bachelor's degrees is decreasing.... In 1986, women earned one out of every three bachelor's degrees awarded in computer science; by 2006, women's share of computer science degrees had dropped to ... one out of every five degrees awarded."
Similarly, the numbers of African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans in computer science continues to lag behind their numbers in the U.S. population.
The IIT camp will engage girls in a variety of hands-on discovery activities using Lego Mindstorms and StarLogo TNG. They will use Lego Mindstorms to "build" robots — which will help to strengthen spatial skills — and then program their robots to learn some basic programming skills. They also will use StarLogo for programming, gaming, modeling and simulation.
Participants will have the opportunity to meet and have lunch with IIT undergraduate women in a wide range of academic disciplines at the university.
For questions, please contact Vida Winans at 312-567-5334 or Winans@iit.edu.
For questions regarding the registration and application process, and to inquiry about need-based scholarships, please contact Terrika Worthon (ME '09) at firstname.lastname@example.org.