Google investing $2.1M into KW programs supporting women in computer science, coding for youth

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Google made several announcements today supporting the growth of STEM talent at its new Kitchener-Waterloo community space.

The new 3,932 square foot Google Waterloo Community Space will offer local nonprofits and organizations working in STEM education and diversity free access to host programming and events. The tech giant is also making its own investments supporting existing programs, including:

  • A $1.5 million re-investment in Actua to continue its Codemakers program, which offers year-round computer science workshops for kids. Google has donated $3 million to the organization to date
  • A $200,000 Google.org grant to Engineering Science Quest, through the University of Waterloo’s Engineering Outreach Program, to create an experiential learning program in the community space. The goal is to help local youth build computational thinking and digital skills, and provide parents and teachers access to information and resources.
  • $400,000 to the University of Waterloo to develop a new leadership centre for Women in Computer Science.
  • “We are incredibly grateful for Google’s significant re-investment in Actua’s coding and digital skills programming for youth across Canada,” said Jennifer Flanagan, president and CEO of Actua. “This support will help provide hundreds of thousands of youth with the critical knowledge and skills they need to become Canada’s future innovators.”

    The company also announced that it would bring its Technovation Challenge, a global tech entrepreneurship competition for girls ages 10 to 18, to Waterloo for the first time.

    “We’re thrilled Google is opening a new Community Space next to its Kitchener-Waterloo office and investing $2.1 million in funding for local STEM non-profits and schools,” said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “This is fantastic news for our city — Google’s support will help us drive innovation and growth and find future tech leaders right here in the community.”

    “The University of Waterloo is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and is proud to be a world leader in experiential learning,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice chancellor at Waterloo. “Google’s investments help to encourage digital literacy across diverse age groups and to address gender equity in the technology sector.”

    Photo via Twitter

    Jessica Galang

    Jessica Galang

    Jessica Galang is BetaKit's News Editor. Follow her on Twitter @jessicagalangg or send her pitches to jessica.galang@betakit.com.