OMAHA – Google recently awarded the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) College of Information Science and Technology a grant for $18,400 through the Google Inc. Charitable Giving Fund of the Tides Foundation. Funds from the grant will be used to support CodeCrush, a four-day iSTEM immersive program.
CodeCrush, which runs Wednesday, March 4, through Saturday, March 7, is a unique immersion experience for 8th and 9th grade girls and their mentor teachers. The program is designed to introduce girls to information technology in a secure, friendly and engaging environment.
The program, which launched last year, features hands-on activities in music informatics, computer science, bioinformatics, coding, IT innovation and cyber security.
Additionally, participants are not only supported and mentored during the immersion experience, but also afterwards through follow-on activities that include a mentoring program, free registrations for access to all summer UNO Techademy classes and a high school internship program.
“Google’s support in programs such as CodeCrush are instrumental in helping our college address the immediate need to build a robust talent pool of highly-qualified IT professionals,” Deepak Khazanchi, associate dean for academic affairs at IS&T said. “We strive to make a diverse talent pool where everyone receives the opportunity to pursue a career in IT. By showing these young girls what IT really looks like, and address misconceptions early, we can help achieve this goal.”
Out of more than 100 applicants for 2015, only 30 students (and their teacher mentors) will be chosen to participate in this year's CodeCrush program.
Each working day of the immersion experience will be split into a morning hands-on educational activity or workshop, followed by a lunch panel discussion of female IT students, alums and local entrepreneurs. In the afternoon, the CodeCrush participants will have a corporate visit and meetings with potential role models and mentors, an IT tour of the Henry Doorly Zoo, followed by an evening cultural experience such as a college hockey game.
“Creative initiatives like IS&T’s CodeCrush program utilize advanced technology and can have a huge, positive impact on students,” said Chris Russell, Data Center Operations Manager for Google in Council Bluffs. “With this immersion program, young women are able to learn science, technology, engineering, and math skills and concepts in an interactive way, and we are happy to be a part of it.”
Google joins several Fortune 500 and local organizations supporting this effort in the Omaha metro. These organizations are Northrop Grumman, Union Pacific, Women Investing in Nebraska, Lozier, Courtyard Marriott, Kiewit and Omaha Code School.
The grant was donated through The University of Nebraska Foundation, a separate 501(c)(3) organization, independent from the University. The inaugural, pilot CodeCrush program in 2014 had over 70 applicants from Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska.
For questions about this year’s CodeCrush program, please contact Amanda Rucker at 402.554.2070, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For media inquiries, please contact Charley Reed, UNO media relations coordinator, at 402.554.2129 or email@example.com.
For more information about the Google Community Grant program, visit https://googlegiving.eresources.com/app/cbl/default.asp. The next round of grant applications will close January 31, 2015.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.