Here at SYFY FANGRRLS, we love celebrating women in STEM. From fictional girls like Shuri in Black Panther to real-life inspirations, it's important for young girls to see women in science depicted on screen and at the forefront of innovation. And now, some promising statistics reveal that progress is being made when it comes to teen's interest in computer science.
According to new statistics released by the Department of Education (as reported by the New York Post), the number of girls in New York City who took an AP computer science test has increased exponentially over the last two years. In 2016, only 379 took the Computer Science AP exam. But in 2018, that number skyrocketed to 2,155. Across the United States, only about 28% of students who took the Computer Science AP exam were girls, but in NYC it's now 42%.
In addition, it isn't just that more girls are taking the test, but they are also passing in much higher numbers. In 2016, only about 47% of the girls (177) who took the test passed. In 2018, the percentage who passed is closer to 58% (1,266).
Programs across the country have sprung up to increase the participation of girls in computer science. For example, the organization Girls Make Games has summer camps and programs for girls interested in coding and game design to help them pursue the interest at younger ages and see female mentors working in the same space.
The more young girls are able to see depictions of women in STEM, the more they are able to see themselves in those roles too and pursue careers in fields they previously never considered. And as we see here, the number of girls taking these classes increases as well.