Building Community and Inclusive Practices to Broaden the Participation in CS Education

April 11, 2022

Over the past several months, NCWIT and Infosys Foundation USA collaborated to create a six-part webinar series on the Infosys Springboard/Pathfinders Online Institute to address the importance of increasing girls’, women’s, and other underrepresented populations' meaningful and influential participation in computing and tech innovation. The series covered a variety of topics, and these online webinars were able to reach educators across the country where participants discovered interesting and actionable takeaways from each session.

“What I liked most was the usefulness / applicability of the information. It did not spend too much time on more ‘theoretical’ concepts.” - Webinar Participant

One such webinar that particularly stood out included a panel discussion in which experienced computing program facilitators discussed the work they’ve accomplished in their community and offered guidance for implementing successful computing programs. The panelists from this webinar have worked together since 2019 to offer free, hands-on technology and computing workshops focusing on reaching girls from BIPOC and immigrant/refugee communities. During this webinar, they touched upon the importance of implementing these types of computing programs to increase the confidence of participants to pursue computing.

"I really love how I can witness the way that the girls approach technology changes after the program. In the beginning in a lot of my workshops, many of the girls are more reserved when it comes to answering any questions about STEM or asking any questions, but with every workshop, I got to witness how the number of girls raising their hands increased and how more girls got curious about how a robot works, or more girls start taking bolder steps in their STEM journey. It's a beautiful thing to see how excited they get about technology, and it makes me so much more passionate, and it just fuels my own love towards STEM.” - Vonesha Shaik, Panelist

Attendees of this session interacted with the panelists and learned about their specific experiences while discovering various tactics and tools to implement computing programs and CS learning experiences in their own communities. Participants also learned about the NCWIT AspireIT Toolkit and the importance of peer mentorship, inclusivity, and hands-on engagement when creating these types of learning experiences.

“The webinar was very inspiring and helpful to people who are looking to start an initiative. I am looking forward to other webinars!” - Webinar Attendee

Building Community and Inclusive Practices to Broaden the Participation in CS Education

Below are the topics of the webinars in the Broadening Participation in Computer Science (CS) Education series, each tackling a different subject. The webinars are designed to support anyone who is interested in expanding computing opportunities for K-12 youth:

  • Inspired by Youth: A Discussion with High School and College Students Who Build Local CS Communities
  • Building Partnerships with School Counselors and Librarians
  • Broadening Participation in the Classroom: A Discussion with NCWIT National Educator Award Recipients
  • Inclusion Changes What's Possible: Creating a Positive Classroom Climate
  • Learn How to Implement Hands-On Computing Experiences in Your Community
  • Become the Student: Examining the Value of Asynchronous Instruction

The recordings of all these ‘live’ webinars can be found within the NCWIT course on the Infosys Springboard/Pathfinders Online Institute. You can utilize the recordings in a variety of ways. We urge you to consider sharing the materials with others. For example, you might want to host a lunch-and-learn session with your colleagues to explore these important topics on broadening the participation of girls, women, and other underrepresented populations in computing.

Follow the instructions below to learn how to access the webinar recordings:

  1. Log in to the Infosys Springboard/Pathfinders Online Institute.
  2. On the homepage, search for “AspireIT” in the top right corner.
  3. Click on the Course Card titled “Broadening Participation in Computer Science (CS) Education.”
  4. Click the orange “Start” button, and the past webinar recordings will appear on the side of the page.

If you want to learn more about NCWIT’s mission, its various programs, and research and resources supporting women in tech, please visit