|SARASOTA, Fla. (May 24, 2018) – Three University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee professors are using a $10,000 grant to nudge more girls toward careers in computer science and information technology.
Dr. Giti Javidi, Dr. Ehsan Sheybani and Dr. Lila Rajabion, recipients of the grant, say not enough is being done to encourage girls toward rewarding science-based careers.
They plan to use the funds – from the non-profit National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), but funded by Microsoft – to hold free workshops for 8th, 9th and 10th grade girls.
“Our hope is that by doing these activities we can help girls build confidence in their abilities so they’ll be inspired, motivated and prepared to pursue careers in computer science or information technology,” Dr. Javidi said.
The first workshop, “Raising Techie Girls,” is scheduled Saturday, June 23, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Attendees will learn about computer coding and programming. The event is open to 20 girls.
The professors applied for funding last fall and learned in March their application was approved.
Grant provider NCWIT is a community of more than 1,100 universities, companies, non-profits and government organizations nationwide that work to increase girls’ and women’s participation in computing.
Dr. Javidi, an assistant professor of information technology at USFSM, said social and cultural attitudes often dissuade girls from careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
In the U.S. in 2016, women earned 57 percent of all bachelor’s degrees, but earned only 20 percent of bachelor’s degrees in computing and engineering (www.ncwit.org/bythenumbers).
She said she hopes the workshops embolden more girls to pursue STEM jobs. Parents and teachers are invited to the workshops as well. Their attendance will create a supportive network, Dr. Javidi said.
“We cannot truly raise awareness about the importance of STEM, if we, as educators and parents, do not all work together,” Dr. Javidi said. “It would basically be impossible if we do not come together as a community.”
Registration for the workshop is free. Visit csithub.org/raising-techie-girls.
To learn more about IT and computer science programs at USF Sarasota-Manatee, visit usfsm.edu/academics/programs-and-majors/undergraduate/information-technology/index.aspx.
|About USF Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM)
USF Sarasota-Manatee is a regional campus of the University of South Florida system, offering the prestige of a nationally ranked research university with the convenience of a hometown location, including classes in Manatee and Sarasota counties, Venice and online. USFSM is ideal for those interested in pursuing a baccalaureate or master’s degree, professional certification, or continuing education credit in a small, personal setting with distinguished faculty and a dynamic curriculum of more than 40 academic programs. Website: www.usfsm.edu.