‘100 Girls Of Code’ Opens Arkansas Chapter With Innovation Hub

Feb 17, 2015

Students from Lakewood Elementary School in North Little Rock visit the Innovation Hub last week.
Credit City of North Little Rock

“100 Girls of Code” officially is opening a local chapter in Arkansas. The initiative offers free workshops to females ages 12 to 18 to generate interest in computer science among girls. Each participant of the workshop learns computer-programming basics by building websites and video games.

The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub has partnered with the organization to oversee the North Little Rock chapter.

“We are very pleased to bring 100 Girls of Code to Arkansas,” said Warwick Sabin, Executive Director of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub. “This programming fits perfectly with our ongoing efforts to bring more engaging STEM education to our region, and we are especially interested in increasing access and outreach to underserved communities.”

Sabin said dates haven’t been set for workshops yet, but he anticipated they would happen this summer if not sooner. “Through 100 Girls of Code, we are promoting gender equity and opportunity in the STEM career fields and maximizing the potential of young women in Arkansas,” Sabin added.

ABOUT 100 GIRLS OF CODE

The 100 Girls of Code initiative began last year in Tennessee and has now spread to 10 other states. The program aims to have at least 100 girls participate each year.

The first effort in Tennessee generated more than 200 participants in a 5-week span. The initiative’s founder, Sammy Lowdermilk, an Arkansas native, is eager to spread the program across the U.S.

“With the success we’ve seen in such little time, we hope to continue expanding this program to cities big and small across the country,” Lowdermilk said. “We want a chapter in every city, inspiring more young to pursue a career or college path in Computer Science.”

This initiative is tied to the TN Code Academy and will tour 8 states this summer. In addition to North Little Rock, the organization is opening chapters in Nashville, Tenn., Columbia, South Carolina, and Lake Oswego, Oregon. For more information, go to www.100girlsofcode.com.

INNOVATION HUB DOING MORE WITH $20,000 GRANT

The Innovation Hub also received significant support from the West Little Rock Rotary Club last Wednesday. The community group has granted the Innovation Hub $20,000 to support STEM and arts education programming. The club is also providing an additional $1,500 to underwrite the participation of Thea Foundation students in the Hub’s Art Connection program.

In addition to its financial commitment, Sabin said the West Little Rock Rotary Club will support the new partnership by providing volunteers and identifying the Innovation Hub as a new signature service project for their organization.