Jefferson receives “AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award”

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After a gradual culmination of efforts put forth by teachers and administration, Jefferson has been awarded an “AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award” from the College Board; in the 2019-2020 school year, the percent of AP Computer Science (CS) exam test-takers comprised of girls exceeded the percent of girls making up the total Jefferson population.

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The Why

As a woman in computer science myself, I have seen the blatant gender disparity in my own computer science classrooms. After learning that Jefferson had recieved this award, I sought to address the driving question: What were the key actions and people involved in helping Jefferson reach this benchmark for which they were awarded? I decided to include data in this article to allow the readers to see the trends for themselves.

The Process

  1. After speaking with a data journalist at The New York Times and learning about DataWrapper, I set off to learn how to use the software on my own. This is the first article I constructed using DataWrapper.
  2. For this in-depth news article, I conducted five interviews, one of which was over email. The interviews below are listed in the following order: 2021 NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing recipient and Jefferson senior Eban Ebssa (34 minutes), Coding Lady Colonials president and Jefferson senior Amber Garcha (28 minutes), Jefferson computer science teacher and Jefferson teacher of the year Mr. Dan Tra (105 minutes), and former Jefferson computer science teacher Ms. Ria Galanos (80 minutes). As highlighted in the last soundbite below, at the end of each interview, I always ask my interviewee whether they have anything else to add, to prompt them to think of more information that may be important to the article.
  3. I drew the featured image using Adobe Draw and Adobe Illustrator.
  4. Throughout this article I link evidence and resources as well as place emphasis on word-choice. To be more inclusive of transgenders, I use words such as “girls” or “women” in place of "female".

Click here view the spreadsheet of data.

Click here view my research for this article.

Stuti Gupta · Interview with Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology CS student Eban Issa
Stuti Gupta · Interview with Coding Lady Colonials President Amber Garcha
Stuti Gupta · Interview with Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology CS Teacher Mr. Dan Tra
Stuti Gupta · Interview with Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology CS Teacher Ms. Ria Galanos

The Impact

A vital aspect of journalism involves reaching people and bringing attention to undercovered issues. After writing this article, I was incredibly proud of the appreciative responses I recieved from the CS department–not only were they thankful for the awareness shed on this topic, but also the chance to learn from the advice provided in the article on how to foster a more positive and inclusive environment as a teacher. I received a "Best of SNO" award for this article.