Seventh-grader Zayra Ramos had aspirations to pursue a career in law until she participated in the Girls in Tech event at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City on Dec. 3, which opened her mind to other possibilities.

“I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer, but coding is fun and this event showed me there is so many possibilities for a career with computer science that I’m actually changing my mind,” she said. 

Ramos is one of 100 students from the Independence, Missouri, school district that had the opportunity to create their own apps with interactive, hands-on activities to learn computational thinking skills in an approachable way.

This is the second year that teacher Kara Burke, has brought her class to an Hour of Code event. “This is a great way to get the girls to interact with women in business and show them how technology can be applied to every industry today,” Burke said.

The annual Girls in Tech event was made possible by the Bank’s Women in Technology Community of Practice group, in partnership with the KC STEM Alliance, to stress the importance and possibilities with computers by reaching students of all backgrounds in ways that inspire them to keep learning. Girls and minorities are underrepresented in computer science classes, and in the tech industry.

Molly Keim, manager in tech business support at the Bank added, “Research shows that exposing girls early to computer science, increases the likelihood that they will explore more science-based areas in the future. Events like these show them the creative and fun side of technology.”

Additional Girls in Tech events took place across the Kansas City metro during national Computer Science Education Week, Dec. 9-15.

The Hour of Code campaign is organized by the nonprofit External and over 100 others as a global movement that believes the students of today are ready to learn critical skills for 21st-century success.

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