- Williamston Community Schools
WHS Earns College Board Computer Science Female Diversity Award
Williamston High School has been awarded the 2019 Computer Science Female Diversity Award by the College Board. The high school was recognized for achieving high female representation in Advanced Placement Computer Science classes. Closing the gender gap in those classes at the high school was one of the main goals of the District's K-12 STEAM initiative.
Read the Fox 47 article here.
Williamston High School has earned the College Board AP® Computer Science Female Diversity Award for achieving high female representation in AP Computer Science Principles. Schools honored with the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award have expanded young women’s access to AP computer science courses.
Out of the 20,000 institutions that offer AP courses, 818 achieved this important result during the 2018-2019 school year--nearly 20% more than the 685 schools recognized last year. In 2019, Williamston High School was one of 639 recognized in the category of AP Computer Science Principles. An additional 36 schools received the award for both CSP and CSA.
“One of our primary goals when we started our district STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) initiative four years ago was to close the gender gap at our high school regarding enrollment in applicable courses,” said Williamston Superintendent Adam Spina. “This recognition is validation of the hard work that our staff has put into realizing this objective.”
Schools receiving the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award have achieved either 50% or higher female representation in either or both of the AP computer science courses, or the percentage of female computer science examinees meets or exceeds that of the school’s female population. “During our first year of AP Computer Science, we had one young woman enrolled,” noted Principal Steve Delp. “Ray Herek, who teaches the course, and our guidance counselors have done a phenomenal job of maintaining the interest in STEAM classes that has been generated by the new opportunities provided to students at our middle school and elementary buildings.”
“Williamston High School is empowering young women to see themselves as creators, innovators, and problem-solvers,” said Stefanie Sanford, College Board global policy chief. “We hope to see even more high schools inspire female students to harness the potential of an AP computer science education.”
The introduction of AP Computer Science Principles in 2016 was the largest course launch in AP Program history. In 2019, nearly 100,000 students took the AP CSP exam, more than doubling participation in three years. During that time, the number of female AP CSP students has far outpaced overall growth, with an increase of 136 percent.
Providing female students with access to computer science courses is necessary to ensuring gender parity in high-paying technology jobs and to drive innovation, creativity, and competition. A 2014 Google study found that women are more likely to pursue computer science if they are given the opportunity to explore it in high school.
Learn more about Williamston’s K-12 STEAM initiative here.