Big Deal Media

K-12 Technology
STEM Underserved Girls

May 15, 2019 2019-05-15


SPOTLIGHT! On Diversity in STEM

Eighth-grade girls outperformed their male peers in five out of six STEM content areas in the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress Technology and Engineering Literacy assessment. Girls were especially strong in testing categories related to communication and collaboration. Nearly all student subgroups posted increases in scores, including among black students, Asian students, white students, low-income students, public school students, students whose parents did not finish high school, and those whose parents graduated college.

Diversity-specialized programs equip students with the knowledge, resources, and skillsets they need to achieve STEM opportunities in computing. Code as a Second Language (CSL) is a national initiative that works toward introducing youth to computer science and making technical training and careers accessible to women and underrepresented minorities. 

In an effort to expose more students to computer science, the Panasonic Foundation and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation are coming together to launch four Code as a Second Language academies in Newark, New Jersey; Reno, Nevada; Atlanta, Georgia; and Calexico, California. The academies will be a six- to eight-week coding course for students, who will meet for up to 90 minutes during the school day or as part of an afterschool program. After completing the course, students will be referred to the Latinos on Fast Track (LOFT) Network for ongoing instruction online. The network will also connect students with networking opportunities and STEM-related events. The Code as a Second Language program was developed by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation in 2013. By the end of this year, the academies will be available in 75 regions, reaching more than 100,000 students.

STEM • STEAM • STREAM Underserved Populations Media Literacy

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