A national statistic says that while women earn about 40 percent of all math, statistics and physical science undergraduate degrees, only 18 percent of all computer and information science degrees are earned by women.*
That’s a trend two local high school students are working to change.
Earlier this year, Kailin Zhang and Sophie Maniscalco combined their affinity for computers and kids by founding “Supergirls Code,” a program that provides workshops and after-school clubs to elementary school girls. The goal is to foster a love of computer science through coding.
Zhang and Maniscalco are Kode with Klossy scholars and hackathon participants but they wanted more.
Kode with Klossy is a national program launched in 2015 by model Karlie Kloss.
Women in S.T.E.M. are crucial to the survival of a thriving technological and ethical world. With the advancement of female coding organizations like Kode with Klossy, #BuiltByGirls, and Girls Who Code, each day is proving that females deserve to be included in the narrative, but you don’t have to ask them. They’re including themselves without permission.
Kode with Klossy scholars and Missouri natives, Savannah Grasmick, Kailin Zhang, Rosy Jackson, Hannah Shine, and Sophie Maniscalco, are all proof of this statement.
On Oct. 14 the group of five young women traveled to the Chaifetz Arena in order to get to the Global Hack 7 event. There the collective had the opportunity to compete for the coveted first prize in the youth division: 10,000 dollars.
Supergirls Code is an organization started by two high school friends, Sophie Maniscalco and Kailin Zhang, to empower girls through teaching them how to code. Supergirls Code began around February of last year, but it took a while to get the first class started. So far Supergirls Code has had a library class and currently has a regular weekly after school club! Girls across the country have reached out, looking to start chapters within their communities. Sophie and Kailin’s own experiences as young women learning how to code in a male-dominated field motivated, as well as inspired, them to start Supergirls Code.
Both Sophie and Kailin participated in Kode with Klossy, a summer camp founded by Karlie Kloss to teach girls to code, and after Kode with Kloss ended they wanted to learn more coding skills and began to look around their city, St. Louis, for opportunities.