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Cracking the girl code

Engineering giants bet on summer camps to inspire more female engineers

Twenty high school girls sit hunched in front of laptops around a polished wooden table at AT&T’s midtown office in New York City. Riya Satara, 17, types a series of ones and zeros to adjust a paddleball game she’s designing so that the ball follows the right trajectory. It’s only her first week learning to code–writing the instructions that tell a computer what to do–but by the end of a seven-week summer stint with Girls Who Code, a national nonprofit that seeks to close the gender gap in the tech industry, Satara and her campmates will be designing algorithms that do everything from locate public restrooms to detect false positives in breast-cancer testing.

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