Greater Latrobe School District has earned the College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for achieving high female representation in AP Computer Science Principles.

Schools honored with the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award have expanded girls’ access in AP Computer Science courses.

Out of the 20,000 institutions that offer AP courses, 1,119 achieved either 50% or higher female representation in one of the two AP computer science courses or had a percentage of the female computer science examinees meeting or exceeding that of the school’s female population during the 2019-20 school year. That’s nearly 37% more than the 818 schools recognized last year. In 2020, Greater Latrobe School District was one of 831 districts recognized in the category of AP Computer Science Principles.

Greater Latrobe Senior High School (GLSHS) offers several computer science courses for students in ninth through 12th grade, including Introduction to Computer Programming, Intermediate Programming, AP Computer Science A, and AP Computer Science Principles.

The benefits of offering computer science courses in high school are evident, according to Wendy Lint, mathematics and computer science teacher at GLSHS.

“Computer Science curriculums help to develop problem-solving skills, logic, and creativity,” Lint said. “These skills also prepare our students for success in continued higher level education and training.

“Statistics show that the biggest drop off in females in computer science is from ages 13-17. This drop affects the ability for females to be competitive for high tech jobs that are generally higher paying and available. It also limits the types of ideas, interests, and creativity that are involved in the development of new technology.

“Because innovation is what fuels the advancement of our society, we need innovators to include all groups of people in society. If we limit or exclude any group in the creation and development of new technology, then we limit what and how much we can innovate to help us in all areas of our lives,” Lint said. “As a female who graduated from college with a degree in Computer Science, I saw first-hand the development of technology that is taken for granted today, so it is great to see my students become interested and excited about what they can do with technology. Today, the sky’s the limit with what a student can do with their knowledge of computer science. We want all Greater Latrobe students to be able to reach for the stars.”

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