OMAHA – A group of 8th and 9th grade girls will spend two days on the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) campus learning technology skills as part of a special summer session of the popular “CodeCrush” program.
From Monday, June 22, through Tuesday, June 23, 10 students will participate in a 48-hour, overnight experience on the UNO campus where participants will take part in several half-day workshops led by UNO faculty from the College of Information Science and Technology (IS&T) in two areas: IT Innovation and Robotics.
Participants will also have the opportunity to have dinner with IS&T’s successful Women in IT Mentoring group and spend the night in a set of UNO apartments.
The opportunity is an extension of UNO’s semi-annual CodeCrush program, a three-day immersive experience where 30 students and 30 teachers engage in learning about and applying skills based on topics such as music informatics, computer science, bioinformatics, coding, IT innovation and cyber security.
In its second year, CodeCrush saw a 50 percent increase in applications from last year’s inaugural class – from 72 applicants in 2014 to over 113 in 2015. In order to meet the urgent call for more iSTEM experiences for young girls, IS&T developed the additional summer experience for those who applied but could not originally attend the most recent CodeCrush session in March.
This summer CodeCrush extension will be held in conjunction with IS&T’s established summer program Techademy. Techademy offers both boys and girls in middle and high school a wide arrange of IT camps throughout the summer, and proved to be a perfect fit for the CodeCrush girls looking to further their experiences in IT.
“CodeCrush has opened the doors of opportunity to countless girls and their teachers to truly see how IT fits into their career aspirations,” said Hesham Ali, Dean of the College of IS&T. “We were overwhelmed with the interest in our second year and saw a great opportunity to expand the program and serve even more ambitious students. This summer, we hope to show even more girls IT has a place for them.”
CodeCrush is organized by the University of Nebraska Foundation’s Women in IT Initiative, a community-driven task force seeking to double the number of women enrolled in UNO IS&T programs and help fill the IT workforce deficit in Omaha.
The next full CodeCrush experience will take this October.
Over the past two years, the Women in IT Initiative has raised over $400,000 to fund a multitude of activities designed to introduce young women to IT as well as scholarships for women pursuing IT related degrees at IS&T.
By the year 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects there will 4.2 million jobs in computing and information technology in the United States. Despite this expected growth, the number of available qualified IT professionals is low and women comprise just 25 percent of all computing-related occupations in the United States.
The Women in IT Initiative is funded by private donations and implemented by the NU Foundation in consultation with the Women in IT task force. The Women in IT Fund taskforce members include:
For questions about the Women in IT Initiative, or how to support this initiative, contact Amanda Rucker, communications specialist for the College of IS&T, at 402.554.2070.
For media relations requests, please contact Charley Reed, UNO Associate Director of Media Relations, at 402.554.2129 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.