By Mike Schuh

CATONSVILLE, Md. (WJZ)–The number of women entering the fast growing computer science field has been dropping.

Now as Mike Schuh reports, a Howard County mom decided to do something about it.

The drop off looks like any other summer camp, but inside–it’s college only for 3rd through 6th graders.

Natalie Spiegel has the giggles.  Her cousin Sophia just won’t believe if she’s really 9 or 10-years-old.

Just the right age to get these 58 girls interested in computers, robotics and science.

A year ago, Katie Egan started an after school computer club for her two girls.

“Girls participation rates in computer science, there’s a huge gender gap with that and so what we’re trying to do is just help that pipeline,” Egan said.

In fact only 12 percent of computer science grads are women.

“We know that something is happening in middle school and what we’re trying to do is get them before middle school and get them excited,” said Egan.

So they designed a drumming monkey.

“They work collaboratively to build these monkey’s , so we spend a lot of time talking about how to work as a team,” said one team leader.

Natalie shows her cousin the animation story she created, they can’t wait to get here. She says she gets up at 6:00 a.m. every morning just to come to this camp.

It’s enthusiasm the founder hopes continue for years to come.

Egan says, “In ten years when I hear who’s the next head of Google or something that maybe it will be one of my girls.”

The HowGirlsCode organization expects to offer additional courses for girls during the upcoming school year.

 

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