SLS Girls Crack the Code

This winter, the Girls Coding Club made its debut at SLS as an after school activity. Emma Tregellas ’17 started the club this year based on the national organization Girls Who Code. The mission of Girls Who Code is “to inspire, educate, and equip girls with the computing skills to pursue 21st-century opportunities”. While the SLS club is not directly affiliated with Girls Who Code, they share the same mission and follow a similar curriculum.

The club meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:00 to 3:45. So far, there are 5 members, all Juniors or Seniors. Colette Juran ’17 described the club as a new opportunity to focus on coding. Also, she said that meeting together as a group makes all the difference – it’s a fun and casual way to learn more about coding.

Right now, club members are working through Code Academy, which guides students through the process of coding. Colette explained the process of learning how to build a website. The SLS girls who code are using Code Academy to teach themselves HTML and CSS, which are coding languages used in designing websites. Code Academy emphasizes a modern, restructured Computer Science education for digital natives, like the members of the Girls Coding Club. They “take more cues from Facebook and Zynga in creating an engaging educational experience than [they] do from the [traditional] classroom”.

In the bigger picture, The Girls Coding Club is working towards closing the gap with girls and women in STEM subjects. According to the Girls Who Code website, 74% of middle school girls express an interest in STEM subjects. By the time college rolls around, only 0.4% will pursue a major in Computer Science. Surprisingly, women’s role in Computer Science has been shrinking over the course of the last few decades. In 1984, women made up almost 40% of Computer Science focused graduates. Today, they make up only 18%.

Today, most college graduates, though highly qualified,  struggle to find even entry-level jobs in their desired fields. Degrees in STEM, particularly Computer Science, offer graduates the most security. By 2020, there are projected to be over 1.4 million unfilled positions for computer specialist — and those jobs pay 33% more than non-STEM positions. But with fewer and fewer students (particularly women) pursuing Computer Science, U.S. universities will only be able to fill 39% of these positions. Companies like Google, Adobe, Twitter, Microsoft, General Electric, Kate Spade, and CoverGirl have all gotten on board and invested in girl’s Computer Science education.

While the odds of becoming the next Novak Djokovic or Derek Jeter are slim, your odds of finding success in the Computer Science field are promising. Consider joining The Girl’s Coding Club this season to learn to code in a cooperative, casual atmosphere.

— Grace O’Halloran, Staff Writer

Posted by on January 26, 2016. Filed under School News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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