At the Center of Excellence for Women & Technology, we understand how important it is that young girls get a head start interacting with technology. On June 10-14th, we co-sponsored the first of two Girls Coding Weeks at Ivy Tech, a week-long coding camp for middle school girls to learn about a variety of different programs through lectures, workshops, and hands-on activities. A second camp is currently underway and runs June 24-28th.
The first session was fully booked with 15 girls eager to heighten their technology skills. Students were recruited through several avenues including Girls, Inc., Girl Scouts, and area schools in an effort to reach young girls who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to learn and engage with technology.
Through the collective collaboration of Ivy Tech, IU CEW&T, IU Office of Admissions, Girls, Inc., and Girl Scouts of central Indiana, and support from Duke Energy, these free camps include lunch, transportation to the camp location at Ivy Tech, one-on-one training, as well as college preparation workshops.
The Coding Week covers all things computer science from Ozobots, virtual reality, binary code, and algorithms to discussing unconscious bias and Dr. Carol Dweck’s growth mindset.
Our goal for this program is to show young girls that coding is both fun and challenging and with a growth mindset, they will learn that when they stick with it and keep trying, they can succeed. Providing encouragement and exposure to computational thinking is essential to young girls developing an interest in technology and computer science that we hope will stick with these camp participants well into the future.
Throughout the days at the Coding Week, the girls have been asked to write about what they learn. We hope that the girls keep these journals and refer back to them as they continue to advance their tech knowledge and skills. On the final day of the Coding Week, the girls attend a ceremony where they can show off the things that they learned with their new community of peers to their friends and family.
We want to thank our CEW&T interns Haley Hatfield, Andrea Drygas, Feranmi Balogun, Rachel Sheridan, and Clare Chapman for spending time with the girls, assisting the instructors, and contributing to the Coding Weeks.