For the third consecutive year, the College Board has honored EA's Computer Science and Engineering (CS&E) Department with an AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for its continued work in providing female students access to computer science courses.
EA is one of 832 schools who has achieved the 2022 award for AP Computer Science Principles (CSP), a course in which 40 of the 74 students enrolled in the class were female.
In 2021, the department was recognized for its 2021 AP Computer Science A course, where 13 of the 25 students enrolled in the class were female. In 2020, the department won the award for EA's AP Computer Science Principles course, with 36 out of 69 students being female.
"Since the inception of our department, it has been our goal to make sure female students and students of color feel welcome in our classes [since] both of these groups are typically underrepresented in the field of Computer Science and Engineering" said CS&E Chair Matt Memmo, Hon. "We are proud that three out of the past four years we have won the Female Diversity Award from the College Board for female enrollment in our AP classes and are one of only a few schools in the area to receive this award. We have done a lot of work as a department to achieve this goal, but I must also give credit to the female students involved in our program. They do an amazing job of spreading the word to the younger female students and getting them excited about joining our classes and clubs."
Shannon Crowley, US CS&E teacher, agreed that its been a multi-faceted approach to increase the number of female students in these courses. In addition to direct outreach to students who are eligible to take AP Computer Science Principles, the Girls in STEM Club has also grown significantly in recent years. "I think taking girls to competitions keeps them engaged and wanting to take more classes to improve their skills," Mrs. Crowley said. "Computer science has so many implications in every aspect of life and you need multiple perspectives to create proper web tools and applications that can serve all."
Senior Maggie Lo thinks it is important for girls to participate in computer science and engineering because these fields continue to become a larger part of our world. "Though we have yet to achieve gender equality in the STEM workspace, I believe that this is desirable because women can bring different perspectives and ideas to a field dominated by men," she said. "At the Girls in STEM Club, we care about enabling young girls to think outside the box and offering them ways in which they can do so. Our meetings mainly consist of STEM-focused projects, speakers, and discussions. It's also just nice to be around other girls with similar passions and aspirations."
"Research shows that female students who take AP computer science are more likely to major in computer science in college compared with matched peers," the award letter from the College Board stated. "Through your leadership in diversifying computer science education, you’re preparing your female students for the high-paying, in-demand jobs of the future and giving them the opportunity to help solve some of society's most challenging problems."
Currently, there are eight computer science class offerings for Middle School students, including the two required courses for 6th graders, and 11 courses available for Upper School students.