Google funds computer science outreach program at Benedictine

May 31, 2017

Gift is part of Google initiative to support computer science education

Lisle, Illinois ~ As part of its growing effort to ignite interest and retain women in computer science, Google has awarded Benedictine University a gift of nearly $7,000 to be used in tandem with the launch of a Google igniteCS mentoring program. The igniteCS program provides funding and resources to college and university students to make a difference in their local communities through computer science mentorship.

The igniteCS-funded program at Benedictine, which runs from June 5-9, will introduce girls in grades 6-8 to computer science through robotics. The University has invited 14 local schools to participate.

BenU students Prerana Mitta and Vincenzo Reyes will serve as student leaders. Grace Mirsky, Ph.D., assistant professor of Computer Science at Benedictine, will advise the program.

Google specifically reached out to Mirsky to submit a proposal to implement the igniteCS program at Benedictine. As part of efforts to make computer science education engaging and accessible, Google encourages college students to reach out to local schools or community organizations to help make an impact through mentorship.

“This is a leadership outreach opportunity for BenU Computer Science students to mentor younger students in learning about computer science principles,” Mirsky said.

The funds from Google will be used primarily to purchase LEGO Mindstorms Educational EV3 sets, robotics construction sets that teach users how to build customizable, programmable robots. The donation will also help cover costs such as snacks, lunch and other supplies.

Benedictine’s College of Science has been preparing students to lead lives of meaning, purpose and distinction and help them realize their professional potential in future careers as scientists, mathematicians, teachers and health professionals. With the help of this gift, the University can focus on local community outreach and education by mentoring the next generation in computer science.

Google is dedicated to empowering students and turning them into critical thinkers. In a world run by and full of technology, students need digital skills to help them prosper in college, the workplace and the real world. Students can use technology in impactful ways to enhance their education and become part of an innovative and diverse workforce.

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Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 9,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, admissions@ben.edu or visit ben.edu.

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