Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in his free time. Follow him on Twitter.
Last September, Satya Nadella announced that Microsoft would be investing $75 million into its YouthSpark program for helping children and students develop computer science skills. Now it’s expanding that program with a series of grants around the world.
The company says it will provide grants to “100 nonprofit partners in 55 countries,” although it didn’t specify how much it would be investing from that $75 million budget.
In particular these funds are meant to encourage under-represented groups. In a recent study (summarized in this nifty infographic) Microsoft found that:
- 72 percent of students age 15 and 16 do not study any sort of programming.
- Less than 25 percent of high schools offer computer science classes
- Only 2.5 percent of students earn a four-year computer science degree
- One in five of those graduates are female.
YouthSpark was first announced in 2012 in an effort to boost digital education opportunities across a variety of communities and provide tools to prepare students for an increasingly developer-centric job market.
The company hopes the new grants will help buck some of those negative trends. In the meantime, it’s hosting a Summit with its partners in Redmond later in April.
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