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Female, minority students took AP computer science in record numbers

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Tyson Navarro, 10, of Fremont, Calif., learns to build code using an iPad at a youth workshop at the Apple store in 2013. said a record number of female and under-represented minority students took AP computer science classes in 2018. SAN FRANCISCO -- Female, black and Latino students took Advanced Placement computer science courses in record numbers, and rural student participation surged this year, as the College Board attracted more students to an introductory course designed to expand who has access to sought-after tech skills. This year, 135,992 students took advanced placement (AP) computer science exams, a 31 percent increase from last year, according to data from the College Board, the organization that administers standardized tests that help determine college entrances as well as AP courses. Females and under-represented minorities were among the fastest growing groups.

More black and Latino students learn to code as classes swell

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories said Thursday that it has enrolled more than 18,600 students in its CS Principles course. About half of the students are Latino or African American. SAN FRANCISCO -- Giovanna Munoz Ortiz is a 10th grader at Madison Park Academy, and every day, she learns to code. Her public school in East Oakland, Calif., mirrors the neighborhood that surrounds it. Almost all the students qualify for free and reduced lunch.

This new AP course could drastically improve diversity in tech


It's no secret that tech has a diversity problem. The big-name Silicon Valley companies that release their staffing figures every year often seem embarrassed to do so, because their workplaces are not inclusive or representative of the larger population -- even after those companies vocally commit to changing the status quo. And every year, we argue over the same question: Why don't firms like Yahoo, Facebook, and Google hire more women and people of color? Hadi Partovi, CEO of, a nonprofit that works to create more diversity in tech, believes there's finally one promising solution within reach. Girls set AP Computer Science record…their skyrocketing growth outpaces boys! gets 15 million from Facebook

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Matthew Triska, 13, learns to code using an iPad at a youth workshop at an Apple store in 2013. SAN FRANCISCO -- is getting a 15 million cash infusion from Facebook over the next five years to teach more young women and underrepresented minorities how to code. At Facebook, only 17% of technical workers are women, 3% are Hispanic and 1% are African American. Maxine Williams, Facebook's global chief of diversity, says Facebook is making the investment to increase the number of women and minorities who pursue computer science so that Facebook one day will have a shot at hiring them. is a non-profit group backed by major companies and high-profile leaders in the tech industry including Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

Disney to join effort to get kids into the coding game

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

DENVER -- Do you want to code a snowman? The non-profit group on Tuesday said that it will team up with Disney and Lucasfilm to create Frozen- and Star Wars-themed computer science courses for children, part of a free, 80-hour computer science course that will be integrated into the group's curriculum over the next year. It hopes the characters will provide a kind of bridge for students to transition from the short introductory tutorials to a full computer science course, offered at its online Code Studio. "We regularly hear from teachers that their students want to keep coding," said Hadi Partovi, the group's CEO and co-founder. Students, he said, have been known to skip recess to spend more time coding.