July 17, 2024 Donate

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EMU hosts Gigabytes Summer Computing Camp to help Girls Learn Coding

By Melissa Thrasher 

Eastern Michigan University is taking significant steps to address the gender gap in computer science by introducing high school girls to computer programming and the rapidly expanding set of occupations related to the field. Following a successful first year, EMU will host the Gigabytes Summer Computing Camp, an all-day, week-long program, from July 22 through July 26. The camp will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Eastern’s campus, aiming to inspire young women to pursue fields related to computer science. 

Krish Narayanan, department head and professor of Computer Science at Eastern, emphasized the importance of such initiatives in promoting gender diversity in STEM fields.  

“Women have been historically underrepresented in computer science. Programs like this summer camp provide young women the confidence and encouragement to explore technology careers,” said Narayanan. “The camp is designed to educate high school girls about the possibilities within computer science and offer them direct interaction with knowledgeable staff who can answer their questions.” 

The program promises to be fun and educational, utilizing robot-based programming to teach problem-solving skills. Participants will engage in programming robots and drones to perform various tasks, using tools such as Ozobots, LEGO prime robots, and educational drones. Additionally, the participants will have multiple opportunities to interact with college students who are computer science majors and members of the Women in Computer Science Club. 

“The goal of this program is to provide opportunities for girls to explore technology in an engaging and interactive environment,” added Narayanan. “Seeing more young girls become interested in computer science and technology is always a fulfilling sight.” 

Gigabytes will conclude with a mock hackathon and a career discovery event. The camp is sponsored by NASA’s Michigan Space Grant Consortium. 

The camp is open to high school girls. The registration fee is $25. For more information or to register, visit Engage@EMU.