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Illinois STEM Advocates Cheer Girls’ Computer Initiative

Illinois STEM Advocates Cheer Girls’ Computer Initiative

Two women active in promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) welcome news that Google is beginning a campaign, “Made with Code,” to encourage school-age girls to become interested in computer sciences.

“There were, I think, three states last year that had no girls at all taking the (Advanced Placement) exam” for computer classes, says Kim Moldofsky of Morton Grove, who blogs at www.themakermom.com.

“I want parents to know that they don’t need to be an expert to get their kids involved,” says Moldofsky, “they just need to be facilitators. Now, many online options such as code.org has lists of hundreds of tutorials to help your child get started.”

A woman who is living the STEM life says writing code is no more difficult than you can imagine. “Since I teach it, I consider it like playing a musical instrument,” says Lucinda Caughey, a computer science instructor at the University of Illinois Springfield campus, “but it takes a lot of practice to actually become a musician. Programming a computer is like that. It’s a new language; it’s a different way of thinking.”

Caughey says the coding world is male-dominated because it attracts video gamers, most of whom are … you guessed it.

Caughey, who says a recent female graduate landed an IT job with the U. S. Postal Service and now outearns Caughey, is a former aerospace engineer.

 

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