Girls Who Code + Columbia Lake Tech Center

At Martin Morigeau Elementary School (MMES), girls in grades 5-7 are seizing the opportunity to learn computer science skills. Through the international non-profit Girls Who Code (GWC), teachers from MMES and summer interns from Columbia Lake Technology Center are running a lunchtime coding club. Seeking to close this field’s gender gap, GWC supports girls and builds computer science interest. Girls Who Code participants are significantly more likely to major in Computer Science – according to their website they do so at 15x the national average! Columbia Lake Technology Center is thrilled to be helping provide this education opportunity to local students.

“girls learn to see themselves as computer scientists.” – girlwhocode.com

The students at MMES are excited to be learning new skills, creating fun projects, and seeing how women in computer science are changing the world. Each time the group gets together, they learn about another woman who used computer science in an innovative, important way. Girls Who Code clubs teach girls through fun activities and by allowing them to focus on topics they care about. Students work individually or in small groups for tutorials, exploring the skills and languages they want to learn, and then combine their work with the rest of the class to build their final project. In tutorials, the students learn languages such as Scratch, Python, Thunkable, and JavaScript; tutorials vary in difficulty from beginner to advanced and have a variety of different activities, allowing the girls to challenge themselves with something they’re interested in. As a club, we’re working on a group project where we’ll tie together everything we learn and code. The final project is centered around a topic of their choice – something they care about that is making a difference in the world. Some groups choose local charities, some choose their favourite authors. . . After brainstorming a list of things they are passionate about, the girls at Martin Morigeau Elementary School chose to focus on animals. They’ll talk about how animals have made life better for humans and how we can make life better for them.This topic allows them to talk about their favourite animals while researching and raising awareness for animal rescue groups they love!

“In Clubs, girls engage in fun and simple online coding tutorials, build community through interactive activities, learn about inspiring role models in tech, and work together to design real-world problems facing their communities” – girlswhocode.com

Along with teaching code & inspiring students, the GWC club builds students’ soft skills. Each activity focuses on bravery, resilience, creativity, or purpose – skills that are important for any computer scientist! Students take time to acknowledge how they and their teammates have used these skills to better their projects. Columbia Lake Technology Center prizes the ability to tackle new challenges in creative ways and sees the focus of “bravery, resilience, creativity, and purpose” as critical to technology. The coding ability and skillsets that Girls Who Code clubs provide give these girls a leg up in a fun hobby or a potential career. We’re happy to be helping teach these students and are looking forward to seeing how they will push the technology field further.