AAUW and Symantec Team Up to Teach Girls CybersecurityFebruary 12, 2015
Tech Trek camps in California and Ohio to pilot new course
WASHINGTON — The American Association of University Women (AAUW) received a $100,000 grant from Symantec Corporation to develop a cybersecurity core class for middle school girls interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
The grant will expand the curriculum for the AAUW National Tech Trek Program, a highly successful, weeklong STEM summer camp program that will serve more than 1,600 girls at 21 sites around the nation in 2015. The cybersecurity course will be piloted at camps at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, Stanford University, and the University of California, Irvine. Stanford, the site of the first-ever Tech Trek, will also host an upcoming summit on cybersecurity and consumer protection.
“Providing STEM and literacy education to young adults, particularly women and minorities, is a business imperative at Symantec in order to build a diversified and innovative workforce for the future,” said Cecily Joseph, vice president of corporate responsibility at Symantec. “We seek to help bridge the skills gap, looking at how to create a pipeline of STEM-trained and educated future leaders ready to address and help solve problems related to cybersecurity. This grant will help build the pipeline of qualified girls to enter the in-demand field of cybersecurity.”
Next month, AAUW is set to release a new research report, Solving the Equation: The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing, that examines the factors behind women’s persistent underrepresentation in those fields. The report makes evidence-based recommendations for change so that girls who want to invent the next Facebook or build the next Mars rover will feel empowered to do what inspires them.
“Women make up just 26 percent of the computing workforce, but AAUW is working hard to increase that number. We’re glad to have Symantec Corporation supporting our efforts to encourage girls to consider the full range of STEM studies and career options, including becoming cybersecurity experts,” said AAUW CEO Linda D. Hallman, CAE.
AAUW of California founded Tech Trek in 1998, and in 2012 the AAUW national organization started the National Tech Trek Pilot Program to give girls across the country access to this rich learning experience. AAUW’s STEM camps and conferences focus on girls in middle school because those years are a crucial time to maintain and build on girls’ interest in STEM.