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Pedagogy: Why Only Female Students At Hackbright Academy

“Studies show that women’s classroom engagement goes up when women are in a single-sex classroom. They also show better test scores, lower dropout rates, better knowledge retention, better critical thinking skills application, more lateral thinking, better ability to engage in meta-cognition, and better ability to think overall.

Students have better mental well-being during and after single-sex classroom education, have more self-confidence, and feel they know the material better. They hesitate less on the job, and they are better equipped to penetrate the obscure social cues associated with an industry. Self-confidence, and these mental health gains are significant.”

Read the full blog post here by Liz Howard, Hackbright Academy instructor.

Definitely Does Compute – Hackbright Girl Geek Dinner

This summer, Hackbright Academy celebrated our one year anniversary and hosted our fourth Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner.

On Wednesday, August 21 at Pivotal Labs’ San Francisco office, Hackbright Girl Geek Dinner attendees enjoyed Chinese food (dim sum in kari-out boxes) and beverages from Pivotal Labs’ ample supply (there was also a beer fridge and an ice cream fridge!).

Attendees listened to tech talks from Hackbright instructors Cynthia Dueltgen and Liz Howard, as well as Hackbright graduate and Versal software engineer Kelley Robinson. She is currently working as a Scala developer at Versal and for her Hackbright project learned a new language (Go) instead of resting on her programming laurels (Python).

More tech talks were delivered by Hackbright students. Cara Marie Bonar and Meagan Gamache gave a talk together on kernel programming, and Allison Deal (pictured below) talked about her Hackbright project on video processing. Students gave more demos offstage after the talks.

More pictures are online at our Facebook page. Thanks to everyone for joining us for the Hackbright Girl Geek Dinner!

Hackbright Directors Talk to Girls Who Code

Hackbright Academy directors Liz Howard and Angie Chang visited the Girls Who Code class at Twitter’s downtown San Francisco office.

The Hackbright Academy directors explained to the GWC girls what the program is (“we’re teaching women 10-15 years older than you to code, too”) and shared ideas on the biggest challenges for women in tech (mutual agreement on “confidence”).

Then, the Girls Who Code students listened as Hackbright staff gave advice to girl hackers! Liz talked about hacking the system, and Angie gave advice to her younger self and talked about social media.

Here are the slides for Liz Howard’s talk about hacking the system:



Here are the slides for Angie Chang’s talk on “What I’d Tell My Younger Self”:


Complete version with speaker notes here.

Thanks to Natalie Bonifede of Girls Who Code San Francisco for inviting us to speak to speak to the summer 2013 class on 8/8 – we had a great time meeting each other over lunch at Twitter!