Conference Papers  |  ,   |  March 5, 2016

Toward More Gender Diversity in CS through an Artificial Intelligence Summer Program for High School Girls

Conference paper by Marie E Vachovsky, Grace Wu, Sorathan Chaturapruek, Olga Russakovsky, Richard Sommer and Li Fei-Fei. Presented at the 47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education.


The field of computer science suffers from a lack of diversity. The Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory’s Outreach Summer (SAILORS), a two-week non-residential free summer program, recruits high school girls to computer science, specifically to Artificial Intelligence (AI). The program was organized by graduate student and professor volunteers. The goals of the pilot program are to increase interest in AI, contextualize technically rigorous AI concepts through societal impact, and address barriers that could discourage 10th grade girls from pursuing computer science. In this paper we describe the curriculum designed to achieve these goals. Survey results show students had a statistically significant increase in technical knowledge, interest in pursuing careers in AI, and confidence in succeeding in AI and computer science. Additionally, survey results show that the majority of the students found new role models, faculty support, and a sense of community in AI and computer science.