Groups bring tech exposure to New York City students

This past week, hundreds of students across the city participated in Hour of Code, a global initiative to teach children computer science skills and get them interested in a career in technology.

The campaign is organized by Code.org, an organization committed to nurturing computer science skills among students.

According to the group, 90% of schools in the United States don’t teach computer science, though the field is in demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and mathematical sector is expected to add 1.3 million jobs by 2022.

Code.org isn’t the only organization hoping to spark kids’ interest in computer science. Here’s a look at three education groups with similar missions working directly with New York City students.


Digital Girl Inc.

Launched in November, Digital Girl Inc. is just getting its footing. It participated in Hour of Code over two days at P.S. 21 in Bedford-Stuyvesant last week, teaching about 200 students basic computer programming skills. Founder Michelle Gall hopes to introduce the neighborhood’s students, especially girls, to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, fields. “I want to get an underrepresented population into computer science, to demystify it and let them know it’s something that they can also do,” said Gall, 36, who was inspired by the San Francisco-based organization Black Girls Code. She hopes to expand her program to other schools in Bedford-Stuyvesant. nycdigitalgirl.wordpress.com



Founded in 2001, this Bronx-based nonprofit offers technology training to inner-city middle and high schoolers in areas such as HMTL, CSS, JavaScript and app design, as well as leadership experiences through an after-school program, summits and an internship program. It also frequently hosts “hackathons,” featuring workshops with leading technologists and entrepreneurs. Companies involved in its most recent hackathon, held at Google’s New York offices last month, included Teach For America, Conde Nast, Amplify and Women Who Code, a global organization that empowers women in technology careers. The next hackathon is Jan. 31, 2015, at Microsoft’s New York headquarters, in collaboration with Microsoft’s YouthSpark initiative to address diversity in tech. weare.ci


Girls Who Code

Since launching in 2012 in New York City, Girls Who Code has expanded from one summer immersion program in one city to eight programs in five cities across the country. Its seven-week summer program offers intensive instruction in such areas as web design, mobile development and robotics to rising high school juniors and seniors. Its club programming also provides computer science education and exposure to girls from grades six to 12 in more than 20 states, including New York. girlswhocode.com