Multimedia Story: Connecticut Lt. Gov. Bysiewicz Invites Students to ‘Code for Good’

Deadline to submit entry is April 30, 2021.

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Connecticut Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz.

HARTFORD — Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz, state Department of Education Commissioner and U.S. Secretary of Education-designate Miguel Cardona, and Office of Higher Education Executive Director Tim Larson today invited Connecticut students to “Code for Good” by participating in the 2021 Lt. Governor’s Computing Challenge.

“High-skill and high-wage careers in the STEM fields are in high-demand, but too often, women are vastly underrepresented in these fields, resulting in a large gender gap. Today, women make up 50 percent of the workforce, but only 24 percent of the STEM workforce. Our students have the power to change the world, but it’s up to us to create opportunities for them to do so. This starts with introducing our children, particularly young women, to degrees and careers in STEM early on in their academic studies,” said Lt. Governor Bysiewicz. “By participating in the second annual Lt. Governor’s Computing Challenge, students will be given hands-on experience and will learn how to code with friends and classmates all while proposing new ideas that will do good. I hope this challenge inspires more young women to pursue an education in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields which will help us close the gender gap and pay gap.”

“Computer science and computational thinking are key to preparing our graduates for the rewarding, high-skill, and high-demand careers of the 21st Century. Supplementing and evolving college and career pathways with unique, engaging educational experiences like the Lt. Governor’s Computing Challenge provides our students with greater opportunities for postsecondary success,” said Education Commissioner Cardona. “Last year, we saw the first ever Computing Challenge give students a platform to demonstrate their creativity by coding for good. I am excited to see how this year’s challenge will empower students to once again exceed our expectations and make a difference in their state and communities.”

Connecticut students in grades three through 12 are encouraged to create applications designed to spread messages of positivity, tackle important issues or promote healthy habits.

This year’s Lt. Governor’s Computing Challenge includes three options for submission: concept challenge, prototype challenge and development challenge. Students can work individually or as a team to submit to one challenge.

Through this challenge, students will have the opportunity to develop an interest in computer technology; be creative in using computer technology; learn how to collaborate virtually; and apply computational thinking skills.

“The Coding for Good” challenge is open to all third through 12th grade students who can enter on their own or as a team within their school, or with the support of community organization volunteers such as local Girl Scouts’ chapters, YMCA’s, Girls Who Code Clubs, and other programs.

The 2021 Lt. Governor’s Computing Challenge, “Coding for Good,” is currently supported by Google, AT&T Connecticut, Infosys Foundation USA, Microsoft, Girl Scouts of Connecticut, Million Women Mentors, EdAdvance, YWCA, Girls Who Code, Girls for Technology, and the Connecticut State Colleges and University System.

“Google is committed to creating pathways for every student to learn computer science,” said Angela Pinsky, Google’s Government Affairs Lead for Connecticut. “We are thrilled to support Lt. Governor Bysiewicz’s Computing Challenge to help these amazing students unlock their potential in the classroom and beyond.”

“At the Infosys Foundation USA, we believe that every student should be empowered to be creators, not just consumers of technology,” said Kate Maloney, Executive Director, Infosys Foundation USA. “We’re delighted to support Lt. Governor Bysiewicz’s Computing Challenge and hope that more young women and girls are encouraged to pursue futures in computer science and STEM.”

“At AT&T, we believe that technology has the power to better lives, improve communities and drive societal change. That’s why we are honored to work with Lt. Governor Bysiewicz and the Council on Women and Girls to empower young women and students in underserved communities to explore STEM and the possibilities that come with it. We share the Lt. Governor’s commitment to making STEM opportunities available to as many students as possible, young women and girls in particular. Innovation thrives on a diversity of voices and the Lt. Governor’s Computing Challenge is an opportunity for students across Connecticut to express their creativity as they engage with technology,” said John Emra, President of AT&T New England.

“We are excited to support this year’s challenge especially as we strive to play a key role in continuing to engage young girls in mentoring opportunities that will help them stay on the path of remaining involved in STEM-related activities throughout their educational career and beyond,” said Carolyn Alessi, State Chairwoman of the Million Women Mentors Connecticut Chapter.

The Lt. Governor’s Computing Challenge is inspired by the work of the Governor’s Council on Women and Girls: Subcommittee on Education and STEAM. The Council on Women and Girls is chaired by Lt. Governor Bysiewicz and vice-chaired by Office of Policy and Management Secretary Melissa McCaw. The council’s subcommittee on Education and STEAM is co-chaired by Office of Higher Education Executive Director Tim Larson and state Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Sibongile Magubane

The Governor’s Council on Women and Girls launched its first Lt. Governor’s Computing Challenge in May 2020 by inviting students to submit ideas for socially-conscious apps, websites or computer programs to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, aid local or global communities, and/or encourage or inform others. That challenge received 372 entries and 10 entries were highlighted during a virtual showcase in June 2020.

Anyone who is interested in reviewing and selecting submissions for a showcase at the end of the 2020-2021 academic year can sign up here.

For more information, visit the Lt. Governor’s Computing Challenge website.

The deadline to submit to the 2021 Lt. Governor’s Computing Challenge is April 30, 2021.