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Cultivating STEM Success


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Some of the young women who attended the annual celebration of ProjectCSGIRLS.

ProjectCSGIRLS aims to challenge students to code or prototype a computer science project with a socially beneficial theme.

Credit: Pooja Chandrashekar

Harvard University's Pooja Chandrashekar founded the ProjectCSGIRLS coding competition while still a high school sophomore, and now it is the largest competition for middle-school girls in the U.S., committed to promoting greater diversity in the technology industry.

Chandrashekar led the national expansion of ProjectCSGIRLS, whose goal is to challenge students to code or prototype a computer science project with a socially beneficial theme.

"Girls tend to gravitate toward careers and projects where they can make a difference," Chandrashekar notes. "So our focus with this competition is to show girls that technology can be used for social impact. That's when computer science becomes all the more real for them, and that much more interesting of a field."

Chandrashekar and her team have rolled out workshops at schools throughout the U.S. to help girls build the basic skills they would need to compete in ProjectCSGIRLS, and this year workshops were launched internationally.

From Harvard University
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