Encouraging girls to pursue STEM

- Sierra Block Gorman, 17, loves computer science. She learned to code at Bard High School Early College on the Lower East Side of New York City. Her classmate Natalia Jucha, 17, codes, too. Turns out these two bright young women are the exception -- not the norm.

When girls are in middle school, 74 percent show an interest in science, technology, engineering and math, known as the "STEM" fields, according to the nonprofit Girls Who Code. But something happens as they age. When it is time to choose a college major, just 0.4 percent of high school girls select computer science.

Documentary filmmaker Lesley Chilcott directed and produced "Code Girls." It follows high school girls from around the world competing to develop an app that solves a problem in their community. She is trying to help close the gender gap in technology.

Lots of big tech companies, some using celebrities, host programs aimed at making technology appealing to young women. Even the Girl Scouts are in on it. The Girl Scouts of Greater New York now sell cookies online and host tech jams on coding.

So why do so many girls stop liking math and science?

Facebook predicts by 2020 there will be 1 million technology jobs open and not enough qualified applicants to fill those positions. Young women like Sierra and Natalia are helping to shift that balance.

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