Award-winning filmmaker Robin Hauser Reynolds screened her documentary, CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap, at Garrison Forest on February 22, 2017, as part of the school's yearlong focus on Digital Wellness.
Students from 4th-12th Grade enjoyed the educational version during assembles throughout the day, each followed by an inspiring Q&A sessions with Ms. Reynolds about the film and her career as a filmmaker.
CODE, which made its debut at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, was inspired by her daughter's frustration as computer science major in college. Eventually, her daughter dropped the major. Ms. Reynolds's daughter's experience, sadly, is all too common. When Ashton Newhall, GFS parent, Trustee and the sponsor of Ms. Reynolds's visit, introduced her to the Lower and Middle School, he shared a startling statistic: 18% of today's computer science majors are women vs. 34% in 1984.
Yes, tech jobs are growing three times faster than colleges are producing computer science graduates. By 2020, there will be one million unfilled software engineering jobs in the USA. CODE exposes the dearth of American female and minority software engineers and explores the reasons for this gender gap and digital divide. The film highlights breakthrough efforts that are producing more diverse programmers and shows how this critical gap can be closed. CODE asks: what would society gain from having more women and minorities code and how do we get there?
Garrison Forest students are no strangers to coding. Recently, the entire school participated in Hour of Code. And check out Sasha as she rocks an Arduino coding challenge in the Lower School's Creative Co-op:
On February 22, after a full day of inspiring discussions sparked by CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap, the public enjoyed a screening of the film-festival version in the evening, followed by a discussion by Ms. Reynolds.
Thanks, Robin Hauser Reynolds, for sharing your film and your journey with us, and thanks to Becky and Ashton Newhall for making the day possible! Learn more about GFS's Digital Wellness program at gfs.org/digitalwellness.
And check out what 8th graders did with 15 minutes of downtime after watching the movie and before next class started -- they were coding and playing math games! Talk about inspiration!
Enjoy the photo gallery of our day with Ms. Reynolds.