Serena Williams, WNBA stars join nonprofit coding campaign

Serena Williams and Nneka Ogwumike are among a bevy of professional athletes lending their support to a sports-themed “Hour of Code” program as part of the Computer Science Education Week. The educational effort introduces students to coding via hour-long online tutorials.

Code.org CEO Hadi Partovi told EdSurge News that tapping athletes was a conscious decision for the site. This year, they’re trying to focus on high school students. It also helped with diversity. “In every part of [coding] work, traditionally, it’s been an all white/Asian and male population. When we get actors involved at Code.org, most actors tend to be white—but athletes are extremely diverse,” Partovi told EdSurge. “Growing diversity is fundamentally core to our mission.”

Ogwumike is joined by plenty of fellow WNBA talent in supporting the initiative. Her Los Angeles Sparks teammate Alana Beard is featured, as well as the Seattle Storm’s Sue Bird. In addition, Dutch windsurfing champion Sarah-Quita Offringa and Chilean marathoner Erika Olivera are also featured.

[More at Excelle Sports: Serena Williams writes open letter: ‘Too often women are not supported enough’]

Watch code.org’s video featuring Williams, Ogwumike and more:

The hour-long program is available on the code.org website, with graphics that features both the NBA and WNBA logos.

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