Encouraging women coders with COCO

Despite a nationwide push to teach programming to a more diverse body of students in K-12 education, recent studies suggest women are most likely to drop out of computer science in college. Ruth Leopold’s Coders Collaborative (COCO) aims to increase the retention of women in computing fields by fostering a sense of community among female students.

The key components and benefits of community that COCO targets are peer support, shared experience, confidence and interest.

The COCO website approaches each of these topics on its own, mixing beginner coding tutorials with video testimonials from women in STEM and a Facebook group dedicated to helping women through some of the more technically demanding classes in New Media.

Also represented at Digital Humanities Week will be initiatives such as the Rising Tide Center, WiSTEMM, and ACM-W, which hope to nourish women in STEM fields on a campus-wide and national scales.