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Madeira earns 2021 College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award

February 25, 2022

Madeira has again earned the College Board AP® Computer Science Female Diversity Award for achieving high female representation in AP Computer Science A, one of only 199 schools worldwide that earned this distinction. Schools honored with the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award have expanded girls’ access to AP Computer Science courses. 

“We are incredibly proud of the exceptional learning and achievements of our computer science students,” said Head of School Gretchen Warner. “Madeira has offered AP Computer Science for over 25 years, and our alumnae include numerous senior management STEM professionals.” 

Beyond preparing students for AP Computer Science in the classroom, Madeira also provides real world STEM exposure through its Co-Curriculum internship program, giving students hands-on experience at engineering firms, labs, and technology companies. Chi H. ‘22 completed her senior Co-Curriculum internship at The Carnegie Institute of Science, where she assisted with research on nano threads possessing both the strength of diamonds and the flexibility of polymers. In addition to using data, calculations, and software to build her technical skills, Chi benefitted from being introduced to a network of STEM professionals. 

“I connected with a female computational chemist who exposed me to the possibility of combining my passions for both computer science and chemistry in a career of running simulations of molecules using supercomputers,” Chi shared.

Research shows women are more likely to pursue computer science if they’re given the opportunity to explore it in high school. Beyond helping students secure an internship, Madeira’s Co-Curriculum program also connects students with mentors who provide invaluable networking and guidance. 

Providing female students with access to computer science courses contributes to gender parity in the industry’s high-paying jobs and drives innovation, creativity, and representation. According to a recent Google study, 54% of college female computer science majors took AP Computer Science A in high school. 

“By encouraging young women to study advanced computer science coursework, Madeira is closing the gap in computer science education and empowering young women to access the opportunities available in STEM career fields,” says Stefanie Sanford, College Board Chief of Global Policy and External Relations. “Computer science is the foundation of many 21st-century career options, and young women deserve equal opportunities to pursue computer science education and drive technological innovation.” 

AP Computer Science A students learn to design and implement computer programs that solve problems relevant to today’s society. The course helps prepare students for the high-paying, in-demand jobs of the future and gives them the opportunity to help solve some of society’s most challenging problems. 

Madeira is proud to be among the top AP Computer Science programs worldwide in providing inspiring opportunities for young women.

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