School: Santa Clara High School
Brief Bio: Nithila Poongovan is a current senior at Santa Clara High School, with career aspirations in computer-based assistive technology. Her community involvement in raising disability inclusion awareness has won her the Jefferson Award for Public Service from CBS San Francisco. Interning at the Children of War Foundation, Nithila helps lead the collaboration with Stanford Women in Data Science to curate and deliver hours of Computer Science curriculum to over 80 refugees in Jordan.
Topic: “Delivering WiDS education through CoWF to Refugees in Jordan.“
Abstract: According to the UN, more than 3.5 million school-age refugees don’t have access to formal education. Focussing on this urgent problem, organizations like the Children of War Foundation (CoWF) provide digital education programs for refugees from across the Middle East. While remotely delivering Computer Science courses to Syrian refugee children, our team at CoWF faces numerous challenges. They include navigating social and cultural barriers in making the subject relatable to the children and overcoming limitations of resources such as class material and internet bandwidth. In this talk, I’ll discuss the creative approaches our CoWF team uses to work through these challenges.