Outreach

Welcome to WCS Outreach! We are the subdivision of WCS dedicated to encouraging young women to pursue a computer science education. Although 51% of the United States population is female, only 18% of Computer Science bachelor’s degrees are earned by women. Women’s voices are needed in tech, and we want to do our part in making those numbers change.

We have multiple initiatives: Chictech, High School Visits, our Explore CS Series, and CS+X Panel.

Explore CS Series

In the Fall 2020 semester, WCS Outreach presented an informative video series about the research the professors at UIUC professors have done using computer science applications, to impact different fields of work. We hope this will allow young teenagers, and possibly even you reading this, to learn more about the opportunities available through studying computer science!

We brought professors from all fields of expertise to talk about how they have used computer science to complete their research and how it affects the field they work in, as well as communities around the world!

Check out installments of the series on our YouTube channel , with more information on the Explore CS Tab of our website.

Also make sure to check out our introductory article to learn more about the goals behind this series!

CS + X Panel

The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign is known for having a variety of diverse CS related majors available for students to study. These majors fall under what is known as the CS+X Degree Program, which includes 11 majors in total (listed here). In addition to these fields of study are the Mathematics & CS and Statistics & CS majors as well!

This semester, WCS reached out to highschools across the country to involve students in our new CS+X Panel, which took place on Thursday, March 25th 2021! We discussed the CS+X Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and had real Illinois CS+X university students come to talk about their experience and answer questions! Advisors from the CS department at UIUC also participated in the panel to talk about resources within the department.

Check out the presentation to learn more about the CS+X program, and our compiled Q&A Document to get answers to the questions of your choice!

ChicTech Retreat

ChicTech is our annual retreat for high schoolers, centered around promoting computer science for women and about getting more women involved in STEM. We usually hold technical workshops for all experience levels, as well as fun student-led mentoring and social activities. This year, due to unprecidented circumstances with the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be able to plan an in-person ChicTech retreat. To make up for not having the retreat in-person, we put together more initiatives this semester for students to learn more about CS (see Explore CS Series and CS+X Panel)!

High School Visits

We visit high schools to speak to students, especially those underrepresented in tech fields, about STEM and why computer science could be the right field for them.

Resources

  • Made with Code: The website of a Google initiative to get more girls interested in tech! Their Mentors tab has a really cool collection of two minute videos about women and girls using technology to leave their impact in areas including fashion and music, healthcare and medicine, filmmaking, and social justice. They also have some basic programming projects available for you to learn from!

  • A list of little known women in technology throughout history whose work has had a significant impact on the world.

  • If you have any questions about the content above or want to reach out to us regarding ChicTech and/or our high school visits, you can email us at illinoiswcs.outreach@gmail.com.