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Encouraging Girls of Color to Code

December 15, 2014

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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 provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing Department of Energy Office of Science research missions: developing new energy sources, improving energy efficiency, developing new materials, and increasing our understanding of ourselves, our world, and our universe.

Founded in 1931 on the belief that the biggest scientific challenges are best addressed by teams, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and its scientists have been recognized with 13 Nobel Prizes. Today, Berkeley Lab researchers develop sustainable energy and environmental solutions, create useful new materials, advance the frontiers of computing, and probe the mysteries of life, matter, and the universe. Scientists from around the world rely on the Lab’s facilities for their own discovery science. Berkeley Lab is a multiprogram national laboratory, managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit energy.gov/science.