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DEI Fund Supports STEM Workshops and Coding Camps

Preuniversity students learn Python, Scratch, and other programs

2 min read
Groups of people interacting with each other.
Nadia Radic

IEEE groups are working hard to support the organization’s mission in creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment.

One such group is the IEEE Computer Society, which last year created a diversity and inclusion fund in collaboration with the IEEE Foundation. The fund supports programs and events that seek to increase DEI awareness in computing, broaden the society’s demographics, and bring together diverse perspectives from the field.

“Representation in computer science and computer engineering is critical,” Nita Patel, the society’s president, said in a news release about the fund’s creation. “That’s why the society continues to further initiatives that aim to increase representation and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.”

The society sought proposals for funding programs that aim to educate, train, and empower women and people from underrepresented groups on topics such as artificial intelligence, computer programming, and robotics. Each program will receive US $5,000 to $15,000.

Of the 87 proposals submitted, eight were approved.

Supporting the next generation of engineers

These are the eight winning proposals:

  • Inland Empire data science workshops. These sessions seek to encourage undergraduate students who live in Inland Empire, Calif., to pursue a graduate degree in computer science or a related field. The region is home to a large population of students from underrepresented groups who are first-generation Americans and who come from low-income families.
  • iBelong workshops. This four-day education series aims to encourage underrepresented and economically disadvantaged preuniversity students in Omaha to pursue an undergraduate degree in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics subject. The workshops introduce students to fields such as computer science, cybersecurity, information technology, and robotics as well as related degree programs offered at the University of Nebraska in Omaha.
  • Raspberry Pi coding workshop. This program is designed to teach Python and Scratch to more than 200 preuniversity students in Uganda. Participants also can learn how to build a computer and program it using a single-board Raspberry Pi.
  • Teenage Women Facing Science and Engineering conference. The one-day event aims to provide 200 female preuniversity students in Jalisco, Mexico, with hands-on training centered around such topics as robotics and computer programming. The planned workshops and presentations are designed to encourage the teens to pursue a STEM career.
  • CodeWhisperer training and hackathon for English-as-a-second-language developers. This program is designed to teach developers whose second language is English how to use Amazon’s CodeWhisperer, an artificial intelligence–based code-generation tool. Attendees can participate in a hackathon, during which they will try to solve software-related challenges using CodeWhisperer. The initiative aims to improve the developers’ programming abilities and create a community for such professionals.
  • IEEE Learn-Compute Camp. This two-day program, held on 23 and 24 June in Ooty, India, aimed to bridge the learning and technological gaps between students who live in remote villages and cities, and to encourage them to pursue a STEM career. Attendees were taught leadership and problem-solving skills, and they learned about recent developments in computer science.
  • Malaysian iCARE computer science iCS program. This initiative is designed to increase interest in computer science among students in Malaysia’s remote areas. The series of in-person and virtual training sessions is expected to teach about 100 students, using an interactive program including learning modules, practice problems, and quizzes.
  • Girls and Computing workshop. To encourage female high school students from Panama to pursue a career in a computer science–related field, the workshop aims to teach them skills such as Web design and project management through mentoring sessions and hands-on training. At the end of the course, participants are asked to submit an essay, poster, or project on the impact women have had on the computing field.
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