Hawthorne Middle/High School recently received the Computer Science Female Diversity Award from the College Board for achieving high female representation in Advance Placement (AP) Science Principles during the 2021-22 school year.
Nationwide, only 832 schools nationwide earned this distinction.
According to a press release, the College Board congratulated the school for “preparing your female students for the high-paying, in-demand jobs of the future and allowing them to help solve some of society’s most challenging problems.”
The College Board created the AP Computer Science Principles course in 2016-17, attracting more students than any other AP course in its first year.
This is Hawthorne’s third year offering the course to its students.
There are 27 students taking the course at Hawthorne this academic year, 13 of whom are females.
The teacher, Dr. Cheryl Johnson, said female students jump at the chance to learn code and do very well in the class.
“I want them to see that they don’t have to be afraid of computers and that codes are simple,” Johnson said in a press release. “I hope that through this class, they can keep that desire to learn more about coding and computers and that, ultimately, we can increase the number of females in what is now a very male-dominated industry.”
Chloe Thomas, a freshman at Hawthorne High School, is taking the course this year and said she enjoys learning how to build an app. She continued to say she agrees that the field needs more diversity, and courses like the AP Computer Science Principles can help.
“It broadens women’s views on what we can and can’t do,” Thomas said in a press release. “It gives us more options when we think about what we want to do in the future.”
The AP Computer Science Principles is just one of several AP and Cambridge courses offered in the last few years. Cambridge allows students to work, learn and study at a college level.
Students can earn college credit through the AP and Cambridge exams.
“We make it a point to have every student take at least one of those rigorous college-level courses while they’re here,” said Hawthorne assistant principal Lisa McLeod in a press release. “The teachers are great at working with all levels of students to build their ability and their confidence so they realize they can do it.”