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Coding program for girls sparks interest, doubles in student numbers

Countless studies show a shortage of women in STEM careers.

Posted: Sep 13, 2019 5:56 PM
Updated: Sep 18, 2019 3:31 PM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - A $9 million dollar grant for the Vigo County School Corporation is taking girl power to another level.

Countless studies show a shortage of women in STEM careers. STEM is an acryonym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

However, a couple of teachers are looking to change that through a new program at Lost Creek Elementary.

Computer Coding For Girls is an after-school program, dedicated to teaching young girls about coding. 

Teacher Angie Miller said she was inspired after reading an article about the need for more women in computer science. She says exposing kids, ages 8-12, early to coding, they're likely to take on courses in the future.

Through the coding club, Miller says they're connecting girls to the tools they need, with hopes of fulfilling that shortage in the future. 

"We're using a program called 'Hour of Code'," she said, "and what we hope to do with that is to give them those basic building blocks of what coding is, and kind of how that works and maybe spark their interest."

Miller, along with Teacher Leader Angie Oxford, were originally planning to take 25 students when the club started. However, within the first few days, that number grew to 50.

Oxford says the coding club allows girls the opportunity to explore, encourage and work together as young women.

"I think it makes them feel more special," said Oxford, "It makes them feel that they are important and that they can lead the world just as men can too."

The coding club was made possible through a Project AWARE grant, awarded to the Vigo County School Corporation. The grant allows the program to be in rotation for five years.

Miller and Oxford both hope by seeing this story, it will inspire other teachers to implement similar programs in their schools.

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