2019 Anita Borg Systers Pass It On Award Winner
Project Title: Teach Rural Girls to Code
In rural and impoverished parts of India, girls are forced to take up home responsibilities at an early age, preventing them from access to schoolwork. The Teach Rural Girls to Code program aims to empower girls by giving them coding skills, which can build their confidence and encourage them to pursue a career in programming.
The computer science program will be held in a school in a rural Indian village. It will be conducted remotely via Skype by teachers from top tech companies, like Google, based in Silicon Valley. The program begins with a 10-day summer code camp that will impact 30 girls from remote areas of India. The girls will participate in hands-on programming activities starting from MadeWithCode, progressing to Scratch, Code.org, and Thimble by Mozilla, followed by team-based projects. The second part of the program will include quarterly coding classes scaled to other students and schools with the help of code camp graduates and area coordinators under the education nonprofit, eVidyaloka. The expectation is that this will reach more than 300 girls in its first year.
Aakrati is a Senior Software Engineer at Google working on machine learning and has experience in leading, scaling, and maintaining large scale software. She has a master’s degree in Computer Science. Aakrati seeks opportunities to use her skill sets to empower women, particularly working with nonprofits in the education sector. She is the founder and lead of Teach Rural Girls to Code.