Nearly 80% of workers at leading technology companies are men, and fewer than 10% are African American or Latino. Governments and non-profits have tried to close this opportunity gap by offering CS classes at every high school, but few underrepresented students are choosing to enroll.
srnd.org is a nationwide non-profit which increases the number of underrepresented students signing up for computer science. Nearly 20,000 students without prior interest or experience have attended srnd.org programs since 2012, and most have continued coding since.
CodeDay is a 24-hour event where students of all ages work together to build apps and games. It takes place in over 40 cities simultaneously on three weekends a year.
The program, run by the non-profit srnd.org, is focused on getting underrepresented students to take an interest in coding.
CodeDay attracts students because, unlike a class or workshop, students start by pitching ideas for games or apps they want to build, then spend the rest of the weekend working in teams to bring the most fun ideas to life.
Also unlike a class, students take regular breaks to sing karaoke, play video games, or even compete to see who can write code the fastest without using their hands.
Many students attend CodeDay with no experience or serious interest in programming, but nearly three-quarters will still be coding three months after attending a CodeDay. Most of these students will enroll in a CS class within a year.