BG Women in Computing receives Google IgniteCS grant

The BG Women in Computing (BGWIC) student organization at the University has received a Google igniteCS grant for a proposed mentorship program benefiting middle school girls (grades 5-8).

The $10,000 grant to promote computer science education provides funding and resources for Code4Her, a new computer science mentorship program for girls. Proposed and administered by BGWIC, the program will connect middle school-aged girls with BGWIC mentors to learn about computer programming. In the session that will begin in January 2017, lessons will be come through exploration of Lego EV3 Mindstorms robots. Each girl will work with her own BGSU student mentor; the mentors are all computer science majors and BGWIC members.

“Our members are very passionate about supporting girls in computer science, and we wanted to expand our outreach to the community,” said Rebeccah Knoop, BGWIC president. “We have deep admiration for Google’s commitment to making computer science accessible to all, so we are incredibly honored to have been selected. We are not a large organization, but we believe that we can have a great impact on the community and are very thankful to igniteCS for recognizing that and supporting our program.”

The Google igniteCS website indicates only one other program in Ohio has received funding.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the middle school girls and the BGSU student mentors,” said BGWIC adviser Jadwiga Carlson, a computer science faculty member. “The girls are paired with BGWIC members to learn about programming and computer science education. The BGWIC members are able to share their enthusiasm and interest in computer science in hopes of encouraging the girls to pursue computer science careers.”

Knoop pointed out that she and other members of BGWIC did not have access to computer science education until college. “We are beyond excited to give these girls that opportunity. We want to introduce young women to programming concepts in a fun way and inspire them to pursue computer science in the future.”

According to Google igniteCS website, the company is “committed to developing programs, resources, tools and community partnerships which make computer science engaging and accessible for all students.” A computer science education offers “a pathway to innovation, creativity and exciting career opportunities.”

BGWIC’s inaugural session will be held from 1:30-4 p.m. in 020 Hayes Hall computer lab on five Sundays starting in January: Jan. 22, Feb. 19, March 19, April 2 and April 23. Spaces are limited; registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration will close Dec. 9. All forms and additional information can be found on the CODE4her website.

For more information, contact Carlson at or 419-372-8704.

Updated: 12/02/2017 12:37AM