wConnect is an innovative research community dedicated to introducing the option of a future in computing to women. Our community is rooted at Penn State University but its branches outstretch to high school students, university undergraduate and graduate students, sponsors, and fellow researchers.
The collaboration within each branch and as a whole provides the solid foundation for a change. We want women to understand and approach Information Technology as an option for their futures. Through IT workshops at local high schools, a physical presence at Penn State, focus groups, and an online community, wConnect can effectively study the mechanisms for how to initiate this change. We are funded by the National Science Foundation through the “Broadening Participation in Computing” program.
Our core community is comprised of women in our computer-related educational programs at Penn State, primarily in the College of Information Sciences & Technology. However, we also reach out from Penn State, using social connections between our members and their high schools to engage with younger women, and using links to our alumni in the corporate world or in graduate school, to bring in perspectives and advice from more experienced women. Together we can plant the seeds for futures in computing.