Infosys Foundation USA Announces Grants to Expand Inclusivity of Computer Science Education among Young People

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Grants will help more than 6,000 young people, and follow the Foundation’s inaugural Crossroads event that challenged experts and luminaries across disciplines to reimagine computer science education

San Francisco, CA — November 18, 2015: Infosys Foundation USA, a non-profit organization focused on bridging the digital divide in America, today announced new strategic grant partnerships with Girls Who Code, CodeNow and ScriptEd. These organizations focus on delivering computer science and coding education to middle and high school students through curricular and extracurricular programs nationwide. The grants follow Infosys Foundation USA’s inaugural Crossroads event at Stanford University, which, for the first time, convened more than 50 policymakers, educators and nonprofit leaders to discuss and apply design thinking methodologies to reimagine computer science education in the U.S..

Vandana Sikka, Chairperson − Infosys Foundation USA, said, “While the Crossroads event spurred a vigorous debate with multiple perspectives on how best to make computer science education more inclusive, it reaffirmed my belief that computer science is not only for software engineers. Rather, it is a fundamental skill that is permeating every discipline and that can ultimately bridge many of today’s social and economic divides. Our grantees are disruptors, taking innovative approaches to bringing computer science education to more young people, particularly to underserved communities. Our Foundation is proud to support their efforts.”

Alan Kay, Turing Award winner and computer science pioneer who spoke at the Crossroads event, called on educators, policymakers and corporate America to not only rethink the way we teach children, but to question the underlying assumptions on which our current education system was built. The grant recipients share this belief that meaningful change will require collaboration inside and outside of the existing education system, and will use the grant money to extend computer science and coding education to students at high school level or below, across the country − through clubs, workshops, digital programs, curricular programs and more.

Girls Who Code provides digital programs to help young women build their coding skills. Funds from Infosys Foundation USA will support 500 clubs nationwide, training instructors and recruiting volunteers for these clubs, and equipping them with materials and supplies – all of which will help extend Girls Who Code clubs program to 6,000 new students.

CodeNow focuses on helping students from underserved backgrounds access extracurricular coding education. It will receive a grant to teach up to 200 new students in workshop environments, and some of these students will also be invited to participate in a summer internship program.

ScriptEd helps under-resourced public schools and their students access innovative computer science education programs and resources. Funds will be used to rollout the program in up to five new schools and 100 new students.

The Foundation also recently partnered with Level Playing Field Institute to hold a hackathon in Atlanta, Georgia, specifically for students from diverse backgrounds to learn coding and the business skills necessary to bring their mobile app ideas to life. The hackathon was organized in collaboration with Morehouse College, Platform Summit and the City of Atlanta.

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