Although I’m a proponent of STEM education, I’ll admit I was reluctant to jump on the “kids must learn to code” bandwagon. Then my kids started learning to code, and I realized it was about a lot more than becoming the creator of the next Angry Birds or Candy Crush. Learning basic computer programming encourages creative problem solving and logical thinking, and can be a key that opens doors of opportunity for kids.
However, there’s a big gender gap, with girls shying away from computer science. Girls Who Code, a national nonprofit organization, is working to change that with its free Summer Immersion Program for girls. Keep reading to find out when and where the program is happening this summer, who is eligible, and how to apply.
What: The Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program pairs seven weeks of intensive instruction in robotics, web design, and mobile development with career-focused mentorship, led by the industry's top female entrepreneurs and engineers.
Who: Girls of all ethnic, racial, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. No prior computer programming experience is necessary. The applicant must be:
- A U.S. resident
- A current high school sophomore or junior
- Able to commit to the entire seven-week program
Where: Mommy Poppins regions with Summer Immersion Programs include Boston; Jersey City and Newark, New Jersey; New York City, Stamford, Connecticut; and Los Angeles. For a full list of program cities, see the Girls Who Code FAQ page.
When: The program runs from 9am - 4pm, Monday through Friday, for seven weeks in the summer. The program dates vary by city, based on school schedules.
How much: The program is free for all participants. Scholarship opportunities to cover transportation will be made available for students with limited financial resources.
How to apply: Complete the online application, which is due February 16, 2018 for early acceptance, or March 16, 2018 for the second round. The selection process for the Summer Immersion Program is competitive and will be good practice for college applications – essays and references are required.
Need more info? Visit the Girls Who Code website.
Photo courtesy of Girls Who Code
This article was first published in January 2015, but is updated annually.