Stern College Students Receive Google Grant

igniteCS Funds Effort to Mentor High School Girls in Computer Science

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This year’s program administrators: (l-r) Elisheva Rabinovich, Elizabeth Bitterman, Kayla Boldt

Elisheva Rabinovich, Elizabeth Bitterman and Kayla Boldt, all members of the Computer Science Club at Stern College for Women, are managing a grant from Google to mentor high school girls in computer science.

The grant is a part of Google’s igniteCS initiative to help student groups develop a computer science outreach program in their communities.  Schools that receive an igniteCS grant establish an ongoing mentorship project working with students from local schools.

The three women have invited high schools in the New York and New Jersey area to join the program; Samuel H. Wang Yeshiva University High School for Girls has already accepted the invitation. The goal is to have 40 to 70 girls in the program. They would meet six times over the 2016-17 school year at Stern College to learn coding and robotics (using Arduino processors and Python and C programming languages). Mentoring in future years would focus on different facets of computer science, such as app development and web design.

Their goal, says Bitterman, “is to encourage and empower women to feel highly capable in a computer science field so that they can continue learning and independently creating their own projects.”

The grant comes at an opportune time as the computer science major has been reinstated at Stern College beginning with the 2016-17 academic year. “The igniteCS grant is an excellent way to celebrate this triumph,” Bitterman said. “This will help us share our knowledge and passion with young women interested in computer science. Stern’s and Google’s support for our initiative has also been very empowering to the STEM women at Stern College. The mentors and I are really excited and looking forward to a fun and stimulating program.”

Professor Alan Broder, chair of the new department at Stern, pointed out “the prestige associated with this investment by Google in Stern computer science students – Stern is one of only two schools to be awarded this grant in the New York City area. We want area high school girls to know that Stern is a great place to pursue a university computer science education.”

High school girls who want more information about participating in this program for the upcoming school year should email igniteCS@sternCS.net by July 1, 2016.