SIUE SheCode engages young women in computer science

SIUE SheCode engages young women in computer science

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SIUE SheCode engages young women in computer science

High school juniors Abby Liu (left), of Edwardsville, and Nyla Cohen, of Cahokia, work together during the recent SheCode event at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

The field of computer science is a rapidly growing field with a projected employment growth rate of 19 percent by 2026. The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science (CS) wants to ensure females are a part of the field’s surging growth and success, according to a press release.

The department’s third annual SheCode event introduced high school girls to computer science and problem-solving. Approximately 20 participants from Belleville, Collinsville, Edwardsville and other localities attended the one-day educational experience on March 7. Current SIUE students helped organize the event. SIUE alumnae working in technology fields offered mentorship.

“All of our participants were interested and eager to learn,” said Dennis Bouvier, PhD, professor in the CS Department. “In less than an hour, most everyone had a program working. By the end of SheCode, many had programs of their own design running on their phones. It was inspiring to see the interest and effort of all participants.”

“It’s incredibly important for young girls to have female role models and mentors in the technology field, to show them the endless possibilities a career in this field can provide,” said Darla Ahlert, MS ’15. “I enjoy making the connection between everyday interactions they have with technology and the fact that they can one day be the leaders who create future technologies.”

SheCode was made possible by the generous support of Centene Corp., Enterprise Holdings, Bayer, Object Computing Inc. and AT&T.

For more information on the School of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science, visit

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