In partnership with Adobe, Dell EMC, Girls Who Code and Microsoft, the Utah STEM Action Center announced the launch of the Utah Girls Who Code Club Network, at an event today at Dell EMC.

Starting in the fall 2018 school year, nearly 50 clubs will be hosted at schools, community centers, libraries and various organizations. Industry partners will sponsor and facilitate the clubs, creating a unique business and education partnership.

More than 200 girls grades 7-12 from multiple school districts joined industry members today to kick off the program, listening to remarks given by Lt. Gov. Spencer J. Cox and engaging in a coding activity with Reshma Saujani, CEO and founder of Girls Who Code.

“We’re thrilled to have the STEM Action Center expanding Girls Who Code Clubs throughout the state of Utah,” Saujani said. “Their efforts will not only develop the workforce of the future but also make sure our girls are prepared to succeed as a part of that workforce.”

Girls Who Code was founded five years ago with the belief that computing skills are a critical path to security and prosperity in today’s job market. What began with 20 girls in the heart of New York City will reach more than 50,000 girls in all 50 U.S. states by the end of this year.

“Through our commitment to Girls Who Code, we are able to raise awareness and visibility of technology among young women and help shatter the perception that the tech industry is only for males,” said Janice Peters, program manager for sustainability and social impact at Adobe. “We’re excited to help kick off this program in Utah to equip young girls with coding and creativity skills that will allow them to share their unique voices, perspectives and ideas.”

Girls who join the club are part of a safe and supportive environment of peers and role models and learn about coding and to see themselves as future computer scientists. Beyond the club, girls can tap into an alumni network of tens of thousands of girls across the country that is using computer science to solve problems they care about in their community.

“Never before in history has technology been so core to our economy and our society at large,” said Vance Checketts, vice president and general manager for Dell EMC. “We have an incredible opportunity to truly drive human progress through technology, and we can’t realize the full potential without our girls. We’re so excited to partner with Girls Who Code to prepare the next generation of female leaders to grow and thrive in a connected world. When we engage and empower our girls, there is no limit to what we can achieve as a global community.”

Members of the club learn the concepts of loops, variables, conditionals, and functions that form the basis for all programming languages — whether they want to build a website, an app, or a robot. Girls returning to the club can deepen their programming knowledge through extended activity sets.

“With free workshops and camps that teach coding and computer science year-round, we are proud to support Girls Who Code’s mission to close the gender gap in technology,” said Justin Lee, community manager at Microsoft. “Microsoft is also proud to support Girls Who Code’s Summer Immersion Program, hosted on Microsoft campuses for the past four years, and the Girls Who Code Clubs program across communities nationally in 2018.”

See full resolution images from the event below:

Audience view

Lt. Governor Spencer Cox and Vice President, DellEMC, Vance Checketts