The nation needs to engage more minorities and girls in computer science if it hopes to build a diverse and talented workforce–after all, great ideas and innovation don’t lie exclusively within white men’s brains.
There has in recent years been a louder and more resounding call for girls to enter the coding world. This call is buoyed in large part by Computer Science Education Week, the Hour of Code, and extra-curricular coding groups for girls.
To some extent, it seems to be working. In the 3 years since the launch of AP CSP, the number of female students has increased 136 percent, from 13,328 to 31,458. The number of female students scoring a 3 or higher on the AP CSP Exam increased 133 percent since 2016-17, according to new data from The College Board.
Douglas Kiang teaches computer science, app development, and independent study at Honolulu’s Punahou School. Only about one-third of computer science students are female, and the low percentage prompted school leaders to conduct surveys in the hopes of recruiting more minorities and girls in computer science courses, Kiang said during an ISTE 2019 session in June.