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This image was taken before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic

BGSU computer science mentorship program for girls receives 'Inspiring Programs in STEM Award'

CODE4her highlights the possibilities and opportunities for women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) career fields

A Bowling Green State University computer science mentorship program for girls has received the 2021 'Inspiring Programs in STEM Award' from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education.

CODE4her is a program that provides computer science mentoring for girls in grades 5-8. First offered in 2017, the program teaches girls the basics of computer programming in a hands-on way. Multiple sessions are offered each year on the Bowling Green campus.

Nominated in the spring, CODE4her was selected for the 'Inspiring Programs in STEM Award' based on the way the program highlights the possibilities and opportunities for women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) career fields.

"CODE4Her attempts to spark interest in computer science for girls at a young age," said Jadwiga Carlson, CODE4her program coordinator and BGSU computer science teaching professor. "Girls learn about computer science by exploring programming in an informal setting with close guidance from student mentors. The partnerships foster relationships that are cultivated for the duration of the session and beyond as girls re-enroll in new sessions each year."

CODE4her is one of 78 programs being recognized in the September issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

"The program has the potential to significantly contribute to retaining female students in computer science who are involved as mentors," Carlson said. "Girls' participation can change their perception of computer science, their abilities and provide the needed role models. The unique combination of service, engagement, community outreach and informal learning provides an innovative approach to addressing the underrepresentation of women in computer science."

Founded by Carlson with support from BGSU Women in Computing (BGWIC), CODE4her is housed in the Department of Computer Science in the College of Arts and Sciences at BGSU. The on-campus group supports female students pursuing computer science degrees by providing professional development, social networking and community involvement opportunities in a collaborative, empowering environment.

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Media Contact | Michael Bratton | mbratto@bgsu.edu | 419-372-6349