CH Receives College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award

Campbell Hall received the first College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for achieving high female representation in AP Computer Science. Only 167 schools earned the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for AP Computer Science A out of more than 18,000 secondary schools worldwide that offer AP courses.
Computer Science teacher, Alex Roberts ‘94, believes strongly in expanding opportunities for young women in this important field, beginning with education and an introduction to what technology has to offer. We caught up with Mr. Roberts and he offered his insight in a brief Q&A session.

Q: Why do you feel the College Board AP
® Computer Science Female Diversity Award is significant?

A:  It’s unfortunate that even though women represent 47% of the workforce, only 12% of engineers are female.  We need to do more at every stage of education to help correct this imbalance, and I think this award from the College Board is helpful recognition for schools who are trying to encourage women and young girls to consider a career in Computer Science or Engineering.  Campbell Hall does its best to nurture young women who show a talent for STEM, to provide wonderful role models, and to help inspire all students to challenge themselves in the technical fields, and it’s nice to be recognized by the College Board.

Q: Why do you think closing the gender gap in computer sciences is so important?

A: I think it’s tremendously important, not just because there’s a huge demand for STEM workers in industry, but also because when you’re engineering a product, or making a website or app, or anything that relies on software, you have to keep in mind that 50% or more of your customers are going to be women.  If the people designing it are all or mostly male, you risk leaving out perspectives and skills that can help make your product better.  Diversity of opinion has been shown to be integral to innovation.

Q: How do you think girls in STEM will impact the future of the industry?

A: Women have been instrumental in Computer Science since the beginning.  Ada Lovelace was the first to recognize the potential of Babbage’s Analytical Engine in the 19th century, and scientists like Margaret Hamilton and Katherine Johnson were key in designing the software that allowed the Apollo program to land on the Moon.  Today Science and Technology drive everything around us, and I believe the more women who choose to enter STEM fields, the more innovative and better all of our lives will be.
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