Shopify introduces teen girls to computer programming

Faculty of Engineering
Students working on computer programming
This year’s participants in the Introduction to Computer Studies — ICS2O course for teens got a surprise: their tuition for the summer course is covered by Shopify!

One of our goals at the Faculty of Engineering is to make engineering programs more accessible to girls. We’re thankful to have partners like Shopify to help us in this endeavour. Through this leading provider of e-commerce infrastructure, these girls can take the course free of charge and pursue their love of technology and computer science with one less barrier.  

The course, part of the global Technovation program, is offered through the Faculty of Engineering Secondary School, an accredited  Ontario high school. This unique setup allows those taking the Technovation course to get credits toward their high school diploma, making this option even more accessible.  

Along with fostering girls’ interest in engineering and computer science, the course helps develop basic programming skills that will give these students a leg up should they decide to pursue studies in fields like software engineering.  

“With Technovation, the girls learn about design thinking, coding, app building, prototyping, analytical thinking, conducting surveys and building business plans,” says teacher Najah Mary El-Gharib. “My students work hard for five months to create incredible solutions to world  problems.”  

The course also covers skills like time management, communication and planning, and teaches girls to think about the societal impact of their projects. Girls also get to meet women industry leaders, hear their experiences and interview their Technovation mentors.  

“Supporting these girls in getting a high school credit for the work done in the Technovation program is important: it further solidifies the skills they gained from the program and it provides a starting place for them to explore additional computer science courses or technology in general,” says Rae Samuel, one of Shopify's Social Impact Managers. “We’re working towards a tech industry that is more open, more inclusive, and focused on long-term success. Opening more doors for girls is a part of that.” 

The ISC2O course and the Faculty of Engineering Secondary School are part of our award-winning outreach programs, which focus on providing youth with accessible programming and activities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Reaching and engaging youth, especially  girls, in STEM activities is important, as we continue to work on increasing  the representation of women in engineering through Engineers Canada’s 30 by 30 initiative.  

We are very thankful to Shopify for sponsoring the girls taking the Technovation course this summer.  

About the Faculty of Engineering Secondary School  

The Faculty of Engineering Secondary School at the University of Ottawa offers high school students the  opportunity to take courses while gaining credits toward their Ontario secondary school diploma. All  courses offered follow the Ontario curriculum guidelines while engaging students in hands-on learning  opportunities in technological design or computer science.   

Learn more about Faculty of Engineering Secondary School courses  

About ICS2O (Technovation)  

This course is offered in collaboration with Technovation. Technovation is the world’s largest global tech entrepreneurship competition for girls. Girls use the skills acquired in this course to build a  business plan and mobile app to address a community problem.  

About Shopify 

Shopify is a leading provider of essential internet infrastructure for commerce, offering trusted tools to start, grow, market, and manage a retail business of any size. Shopify makes commerce better for everyone with a platform and services that are engineered for reliability, while delivering a better shopping experience for consumers everywhere. Proudly founded in Ottawa, Shopify powers millions of businesses in more than 175 countries and is trusted by brands such as Allbirds, Gymshark, Heinz, Tupperware, FTD, Netflix, FIGS, and many more. For more information, visit

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