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Encouraging Girls of Color to Code

December 15, 2014

Daniela Ushizima helps out at a Black Girls Code hackathon in Oakland

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

High performance computing plays a critical role in scientific discovery. Researchers increasingly rely on advances in computer science, mathematics, computational science, data science, and large-scale computing and networking to increase our understanding of ourselves, our planet, and our universe. Berkeley Lab’s Computing Sciences Area researches, develops, and deploys new foundations, tools, and technologies to meet these needs and to advance research across a broad range of scientific disciplines.