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Encouraging Girls of Color to Code

December 15, 2014


Daniela Ushizima mentoring at the Black Girls Code "Robot Expo” at UC Berkeley’s Betchel Hall on Dec. 13.

As a volunteer instructor with Black Girls Code, scientist Daniela Ushizima of Berkeley Lab’s Computational Research Division (CRD) helped give girls of all colors some practical, hands-on experience with coding during the "Build a Web Page in a Day" in Oakland on Nov. 8, and at the “Robot Expo” at UC Berkeley’s Bechtel Hall on Dec. 13.

The Robot Expo was held during Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 8-13), an annual program dedicated to showing K-12 students the importance of computer science education. Approximately 100 girls of color between the ages of 7 and 17, registered to attend the Robot Expo where they learned to build and program robots.

"Contributing to the Computer Science Education Week was important to me because knowledge can work as a powerful tool for durable and needed changes in our society," says Ushizima, who is also a fellow of the Berkeley Institute for Data Science (BIDS) at UC Berkeley.

More than 100 girls also showed up at DeVry University’s-Oakland Center on Nov. 8 to learn all about HTML and CSS during Black Girls Code’s "Build a Web Page in a Day." In addition to Ushizima, Berkeley Lab’s Laleh Coté and Ashlee Ingram also helped out during this event. 

Black Girls Code works to empower young women of color to embrace the current tech marketplace as builders and creators in hopes of encouraging more diversity in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

The Computing Sciences Area at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory(Berkeley Lab) provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC) research missions: developing new energy sources, improving energy efficiency, developing new materials, and increasing our understanding of ourselves, our world, and our universe. ESnet, the Energy Sciences Network, provides the high-bandwidth, reliable connections that link scientists at 40 DOE research sites to each other and to experimental facilities and supercomputing centers around the country. The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) powers the discoveries of 7,000-plus scientists at national laboratories and universities. NERSC and ESnet are both Department of Energy Office of Science National User Facilities. The Computational Research Division (CRD) conducts research and development in mathematical modeling and simulation, algorithm design, data storage, management and analysis, computer system architecture and high-performance software implementation.

Berkeley Lab addresses the world's most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab's scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the DOE’s Office of Science. The DOE Office of Science is the United States' single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.