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Union-Endicott Central School District News Article

JFS students learn about code

Students work on code in the computer lab.

With the help of the National Foundation for Women Legislators and Google's Made With Code initiative, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and the district joined together this month to grow interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) among girls. Lupardo hosted viewings of the Academy Award-winning film “Hidden Figures” and helped coordinate a follow up 'coding party' for girls at JFS.

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"STEM careers are growing rapidly across the nation, yet only 24% of those jobs are currently held by women," said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo. "These Hidden Figures coding events provide young girls with real world examples of women who have helped change the world through STEM careers. If women helped us take a 'giant leap for mankind' 50 years ago, it's exciting to think what a new generation of women could help accomplish in the future."

The film was shown to four different groups of girls at the middle school with Assemblywoman Lupardo joining one of the groups on June 2. The following week, students who viewed the movie discussed its message about equality among women and participated in a coding activity that allowed them to code their own statement about equality using software from Google’s Made With Code. UE teachers Deb Darling, Bobbi Rosenberger and Theresa Bartoy, along with SUNY Broome and Binghamton University graduate students, worked with the middle school students and talked with them about careers in STEM and their experiences as being females in what it still considered a male dominated field.

UE Superintendent Dr. Suzanne McLeod said, “We are very grateful to Assemblywoman Lupardo for providing this unique and meaningful opportunity to our students. Not only did it give our girls insight into very meaningful potential career paths, it also let them see the barriers that these women needed to overcome. Both are very powerful messages to young teenage girls: there are great career opportunities out there for you and NEVER ever give up, despite roadblocks that may be in your way.”

Google's Made with Code initiative launched in June 2014 to inspire millions of teen girls to learn to code, and to help them see coding to pursue their dream careers. Made with Code's mission is to show girls that coding is fast becoming the new literacy and increasingly part of every industry.

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