Hutchison Earns College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award

This marks the fourth year in a row that Hutchison has received the award for expanding young women's access to AP Computer Science and working toward equal gender representation.
Hutchison is one of a select group of schools worldwide to be recognized by the College Board for work toward equal gender representation and expansion of girls' access to AP Computer Science courses during the 2020-2021 school year. 

Our upper school offers AP Computer Science A and will begin to offer AP Computer Science Principles in the 2022-2023 school year. Laura Rangarajan said at its core, her class is about solving problems and manipulating data. As part of her curriculum, girls learn programming in Java and various coding skills, including data types, iteration, conditionals, and arrays. 

With practice and patience, Rangarajan’s girls learn to succeed by learning from their mistakes. She enjoys watching her students grow as they work together to solve any problems that arise.

“They learn how to fail and keep trying because when you get a bug in your program, it often leads to another bug. They have to keep persevering through all of those different problems in their code,” Rangarajan said. 

Rangarajan hopes her class inspires more girls to consider computer science careers. Research shows women are more likely to pursue computer science if they are given the opportunity to explore it in high school. Even if her girls do not pursue a career in computer science, Rangarajan said the skills they learn in her class can carry over to a lot of other parts of her students’ lives.

“It’s important that girls start early to see if it’s something they are interested in and realize they can do it,” Rangarajan said.

Way before Hutchison girls get to upper school, faculty and staff introduce them to coding in lower school and middle school through various activities, from the Innovation Lab to participating in Computer Science Education Week. Our goal is to challenge our girls to pursue STEM careers and provide the resources and skills to break into often male-dominated industries.

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Hutchison is the leading private girls school in Memphis for ages 2 years old through twelfth grade.