Imani White '18 speaks at the February 2020 STEAM Expo
(Photo Description: Imani White '18 speaking at the February 2020 STEAM Expo for rising 9th-grade women)
Girls Who Code is a national organization dedicated to “building the largest pipeline of future female engineers.” According to the organization’s website, in 1995, 37% of computer scientists were women, and today the number has decreased to 24%. The website also notes that only 19% of students who receive a degree in computing identify as female and only 2% identify as women of color. It is precisely these types of inequitable outcomes that inspired one Friends School of Baltimore teacher to dedicate her teaching career to create more equitable STEM experiences,
Upper School math teacher, Claire Cunliffe, says that she was inspired to become a math teacher, “after taking an honors Algebra II course in high school where [her] teacher only called on the male-identified students.” Cunliffe ended up dropping out of her other rigorous STEM classes and didn’t reconnect with her passion for math again until college. At Friends School, she is instructing all levels of learners in the Upper School which she says has been an amazing experience.
The FSB Girls Who Code chapter is led by faculty advisors Gab Sussman, Tracy Thompson, and Cat Noppenberger alongside Ms. Cunliffe. The club, which has 19 students from all three divisions, is currently working on a Java chat bot project and an animation game. They are also hoping to participate in the Creatica Hackathon with some of Upper School teacher, Heather Romney's students.