FIONA Outreach Program
The Future Innovators of New Albany (FIONA) is an after school program at New Albany High School, aimed at introducing middle school girls to computer science. With around 16 regular attendees, FIONA meets weekly throughout the school year, running in partnership with the Ohio State's ACM-W , and the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT). ACM-W members assist with the activities and motivate the students and helping them build confidence in their abilities. The FIONA program uses Kodu, a Microsoft product, to teach basic video game creation skills. For example, students had the opportunity to plan, create, and market a racing game using Kudo, while working in groups.
"The goal of the program is not only to get girls interested in computer science, but also to build the necessary confidence in them to tackle the world in front of them", says program organizer Ama Kortang, "Through FIONA, the girls will be able to better assess their interests in computer science and other STEM fields, how to work well with others to produce innovative ideas, how to properly communicate their ideas, and how to drive their own learning."