GIRLSmarts: Sparking an Interest in Computer Science

Sparking an interest in computer science and preparing youth in BC for the technologies of the future.

Information technology and computer science are the building blocks of tomorrow’s industries and economies. They’re also fields that are playing a larger and larger role in how we interact personally, and socially. Awakening an interest for science and technology in young students today is key to ensuring access to productive, meaningful careers, and helps empower and engage citizens in an increasingly networked society.

However, not all segments of society are equally engaged in computer science and IT. Women and special communities are underrepresented. In fact, the number of women entering the field has declined over the past decade — in the early 80s more young women were drawn to computer science careers than today.

UBC’s Computer Science Outreach program is addressing this gender imbalance and helping build a more diverse workforce through lasting learning experiences. Our programs target children in the Greater Vancouver area, with a special focus on girls, low-income families, and children who may otherwise not have the opportunity to explore the possibilities of computer science.