Pinewood Earns Award for Female Representation in CS


Colin Ternus

Featuring Cate Wessels.

Ian Hsiao, Science and Tech Writer

For the 2022 school year, Pinewood received an award from the College Board for 50% or higher female participation in one of two AP computer science courses such as Computer Science Principles. Pinewood is one of 832 schools that received this award. It is a big achievement and a stepping stone to continued inclusion of women in computer science.

The inclusion this award celebrates is essential to the evolution of computer science, which works to represent the diversity in our society. This award demonstrates that Pinewood is providing female students with the necessary resources to succeed in the computer science division, which many women do not partake in.

Pew Research states that, in 2022, females made up less than 26% of computer-related jobs — clearly, the computer science division is a male-dominated workforce. Pinewood, by classes like AP Computer Science Principles, will help increase diversity in the computer science division.

Pinewood’s hope is that, by giving the necessary resources, female students can continue to study computer science in college and get jobs related to computer science, which usually come with higher salaries. Female students getting jobs in these well-paid positions will help to ensure gender equality and allow for new innovation and creativity.

Pinewood is promoting inclusivity in computer science outside of the classroom through clubs like Girls Who Code, created by computer science teacher Christine Tran and freshman Soha Budhani.

“[Clubs like the Girls Who Code] will continue to inspire girls to pursue computer science at higher levels,” Assistant Head of School Haley Hemm said.

As society continues to delve deeper and deeper into the realms of technology, the benefits of clubs like Girls Who Code and AP Computer Science Principles will only become more and more apparent, helping prepare students at a college level so that they can succeed later on life and contribute to the diversification of the field as a whole.

“[Completing AP computer science classes are] like a milestone that tells [the students], you can do these things,” computer science teacher Haggai Mark said. “When they get to college or their professional career, they’ll be able to say, you know what, I’ve been doing [computer science]… and it’s going to sort of give them a trigger to keep working on this.”