Nevada trails national average for girls in computer courses

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John Locher / AP

Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., speaks at the Battle Born Progress Progressive Summit, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, in North Las Vegas.

Wed, Jul 10, 2019 (10:37 a.m.)

Nevada comes in under the national average for the number of girls in computer science courses, according to new research from the nonprofit organization Girls Who Code.

Nationwide, 37.5% of elementary and high school students in computer science courses are girls, the group said. The number is 22.9% in Nevada.

The organization, dedicated to increasing educational opportunities for girls interested in computer science, released research today showing the number of female students taking computer courses has not increased in many states.

Some states, such as Arkansas and North Carolina, saw declining rates.

The organization released the research at a Washington, D.C., event this morning with lawmakers including Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., who worked as a computer programmer before taking office.

Rosen has made increasing the number of girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education a priority.

“Before I came to Congress, I worked as a computer programmer and a systems analyst. I experienced first-hand what it was like, and still is like, working in what’s long been considered a male-dominated industry,” she said. “I witnessed wage discrimination and the difficulties that come with challenging gender stereotypes in the fields of science and tech.”

This year, Rosen introduced the Building Blocks of STEM Act with other senators, including Cortez Masto, to increase National Science Foundation education initiatives for children, including research grants for girls interested in computer science.

“It is so important for young children, especially our girls, to be introduced to opportunities available to them in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math,” Rosen said in a statement introducing the act.

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