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There is a growing disparity in the US between the demand for STEM-related employment and the education and training students receive in preparation for those jobs.  According to the iDTech’s report of 2018 STEM statistics, only 36% of high school graduates are ready for college-level science and “US universities are expected to produce only 29% of the required number of grads” to fill the 1.4 million computer specialist job openings reported by the Department of Labor. Based on most statistics, the issue in a lack of a prominent STEM-educated workforce is the shortcoming of nurturing early interest to which young girls and women becoming rounding errors when all is said and done. Despite 74% of middle school girls expressing some level of interest in math, science, and engineering only 0.3% decided to make a go at in college and of the ones who do seek STEM-related fields in college, they make up 18% of the total computer science undergrad population. The matters are further compounded when breaking down racial segmentation, where the National Science Foundation reported that while math and science scores for 8th graders were increasing ‘modestly’ overtime across the board, “by 2013, the average score of blacks was just above the basic level, whereas whites and Asians/Pacific Islanders had scores near and above the proficient level, respectively.” In an attempt to address the issue of generating and nurturing interest in one of the most underserved communities in young African American women, Microsoft and Black Girls CODE have teamed up to open up a Seattle Chapter of the Oakland based community project dedicated to educating girls of color between the ages of 7 and 17 about computer programming and technology. Learn more by visiting OUR FORUM.

 

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