ProjectCSGIRLS will hold its national gala June 6-7, 2015, at George Mason University to celebrate girls in computing, a platform to honor the winners of its competition and a forum to discuss the importance of women in technology.
The event will feature guest speakers and activities, and provide an opportunity for participants to showcase their projects to the public. Last year’s inaugural gala competition for girls in Virginia, Maryland and D.C. reached more than 100 girls.
ProjectCSGIRLS is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit working to close the tech gender gap through running a national computer science competition for middle school girls and workshops around the country. The ProjectCSGIRLS Competition for Middle School Girls challenges participants in grades 6-8 to build something using computer science and technology that can help solve an imminent social problem under one of three themes — global health, a safer world and intelligent technology.
ProjectCSGirls founder Pooja Chandrashekar earned a 4.57 grade-point average, scored a 2390 (out of 2400) on the SAT, aced all 13 of her Advanced Placement exams and developed a mobile app that analyzes speech patterns to predict with 96 percent accuracy if a person has Parkinson’s disease. She earned notoriety a few weeks ago when it was announced in The Washington Post that she’d gained admission to all 14 schools she’d applied to — including all eight of the Ivies — in addition to Stanford, MIT, Duke, the University of Virginia, the University of Michigan and Georgia Tech. Chandrashekar also served as a panel speaker at the 2015 K-12 STEM Symposium on the topic of “Positive Messaging: Making STEM Cool for K-12 Kids.”
“It was really shocking to me being one of three girls in my AP Computer Science class,” Chandrashekar said. “That fueled my interest to encourage girls in computer science.”
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