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W&M Computing Mentorship for Girls Receives ACM National Service Award


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Society of Women in Computing member Linda Wu helps a Berkeley Middle School student build an autopilot program for her handmade car.

ACM has named the College of William & Mary's Society of Women in Computing to receive the ACM Outstanding Community Service Award for its work engaging with middle-school girls to encourage participation in computing.

Credit: Tonia Eriksen

The College of William & Mary's Society of Women in Computing (SWC) has been named to receive the ACM Outstanding Community Service Award for its work engaging with middle school girls to encourage participation in computing.

SWC president Wendy Guo says the society's founders decided to concentrate on community engagement, "with the main goal in mind of starting a mentorship program."

Last summer, SWC developed weekly lesson plans for a robotics mentorship program in partnership with Berkeley Middle School, designing coding projects oriented around female students, such as creating music and drawing with microbots. The mentors refined the lesson plans to find projects in tune with students' preferences.

"The way we chose what projects to do was based on a lot of research about how to retain girls in computer science," Guo says.

From College of William & Mary
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