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Girls Into Coding – July 2018

Girls Into Coding – July 2018

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Girls Into Coding!

Sunday, July 8th! The day had finally arrived for my Girls Into Coding event! I’d been planning it for ages and it was finally on! I was really looking forward to it! Before blogging about the day, I would like to give you a little of background about the journey…

Over the past few years, I have attended several coding/tech events and I’ve noticed that girls are under-represented.  Even when I run workshops, the boys always outnumber the girls.

The coding and digital making community are so friendly, supportive and resourceful – and I want more girls to explore what it has to offer.

My mum always tells me that, “if you want to get more girls involved in coding and tech, then you have to take the lead and be one of the people who inspires and creates opportunities for girls”.

So I decided to take the lead and to organise my own Girls Into Coding event for 15 girls, delivering three different workshops – and give each girl some kit so they’d be able to continue coding & physical computing at home and beyond.  I also wanted to share with them, some of the books that I’ve found inspiring.

I am fortunate to have met, collaborated with and been inspired by, some awesome people from the tech community. With the help of my mum I reached out to some of them and they agreed to be part of my Girls Into Coding event – to help deliver workshops, lightning talks or to volunteer to help with the smooth running of the event on the day.

Because this was my first event I wanted to do it locally.  I met with the team from Wimbletech, this was my first business meeting! I was a bit nervous but it all went well & I was able to book a great room at Wimbletech for the event.

I did the math and worked out that it would cost at least £750 to give all of the girls a coding / physical computing kit & an inspirational book – not including all of the other costs of running the event.

To raise this amount I began a crowding funding campaign with Gofundme on 13th April. By the eleventh day, I was amazed to see that we had gone past the target.

We used Eventbrite to promote the event and soon all the places were filled and there was a healthy waiting list.  Leading up to the event I spent most weekends preparing for my workshop and a presentation that I’d decided to give.

On the day of the actual Girls Into coding event, my parents and I arrived at Wimbletech a couple of hours before the start time to begin getting the room prepared.  The room was spacious and airy with lovely moveable workstations. The other mentors, speakers & volunteers soon arrived and together we continued to set up and lay out all of the equipment and materials.

The attendees began to arrive, I signed them in and their parents waved them goodbye.

It was beautiful and sunny outside.  Nonetheless, 16 girls attended the event.  To be honest, I did think one or two might have decided to go picnicking instead. We were expecting 17 girls. The number of participants was originally set to 15. However, we exceeded the fund raising target and we decided to fit in two extra girls.

I was a bit anxious about how good I was going to be at explaining certain things correctly and if people would enjoy my workshop. But having these feelings is normal, right? Anyway, the brilliant turnout & the positive atmosphere created by everyone in the room filled me with energy and confidence.

The three workshops on the day were:

Workshop 1: Robotics led by Llewelyn (@tclearn)

The girls had the opportunity to customise a robot, with a range of wheels, motor speeds, and robot bodies. Then program it to move using Micropython… they controlled them with some mini retro – looking joysticks – It went down really well with the girls.

(Llewellyn, is a computer scientist, a maker and the founder of TCL, Think Create Learn, delivering courses to students based around projects).

Workshop 2: Micro: bit Coded Creature led by me (10tonolimit.com)

The girls made a small robo-creature out of craft materials; added tonnes of imagination to customise it and then programmed it to move – they used servos, radio transmission, LEDs and the Micro: bit! It was great to see the girls help one another with their builds.

Workshop 3: Junk Modelling led by Cat (@CatLamin)

The girls had to build and program simple electronic circuits using Scratch and Python on the Pi-Top CEED.  They enjoyed using several different components with breakout boards. Each girl used their imagination & a bit of glitter to decorate their models.  It was very hands on and it was cool to see all the different upcycled creations.

Keynote Speakers: Avye, Rachel, Cat, Grace

Rachel aka Konichiwakitty (@konichiwakitty) – is a scientist currently doing her Ph.D., specialising in eye Stem Cells. She is also a fashion Tech maker and loves to combine wearables and tech.

Grace (@gowolade) – is a practitioner in EdTech, Diversity & Inclusion. She is a Certified Raspberry Pi educator and a Raspberry Jam organiser, with an Autism & Tourette’s Syndrome friendly ethos.

Cat – is a freelance Edtech consultant; she Worked for Pi-Top; is a former Computing at Schools master teacher and an Actress!

Other supporting mentors:

– Mike (@goobric): Teacher / Educator who facilitates digital learning in a supportive environment across the coding & tech community.

– Liat (@Liat_Moss): Raspberry Pi Certified Educator, Apple Teacher with Swift Playground Recognition, passionate about technology and education.

– Tom: Scientist & STEM educator.

– Femi (@hackerfemo): 12-year-old coder, workshop facilitator, inspirational young coding ambassador & entrepreneur.

It was fantastic seeing all the girls focused on their activities and how well they helped each other during the workshops.  All of the mentors and volunteers did a brilliant job of making sure that there was plenty of support & encouragement available to anyone who needed it.  The day could not have been such a success without them. I would like to say a huge thank you to Cat, Llewellyn, Mike, Liat, Tom, Grace, Femi, Rachel, mum, dad, Micro: bit foundation, Raspberry Pi, Pimoroni and all of the wonderful people who supported my crowdfunding campaign.

We finished off the day by presenting all of the girls with a Micro: bit starter pack, an inventor’s kit, a book and loads of stickers – all in a cool Pimoroni bag made for swag.

We had an additional prize draw at the very end and one lucky girl got a copy of the new novel by Janneke Niessen and Niki Smit, Project Prep.

I really wanted everyone to have an enjoyable time and I thought to myself if people didn’t like something about my event, then they could use the feedback forms to help make the next event even better. When I read what people had said (on the feedback forms), everyone had put down helpful comments which I could definitely use for future workshops. I was so happy & thrilled with their positive responses.  It really made all the hard work worthwhile.

One of the parents sent us a photo of two of the girls, they were reading their new books on the train journey home. Go, girls!

 

Finally, I would like to thank all the girls who attended, it was a pleasure spending the afternoon with you all! Keep coding!

 

 

 

Avye

Hi, my name is Avye and I love making, coding, designing, exploring new technology and swimming! This site is about the things I get to experience, discover and enjoy. Welcome to my world!

4 comments so far

DaphnePosted on10:57 am - Jul 11, 2018

Hi Avye, very good article. Well done!

Peter WolfPosted on9:51 pm - Jul 11, 2018

Congratulations Avye on a wonderful initiative. It sounds like a great success and beautifully written up here. Have a lovely summer and see you in September!

Grands ParentsPosted on12:35 pm - Jul 13, 2018

Félicitations à Avye de Gr’Mere et Gr Père . Au plaisir de nous revoir avec joie bientot en Guadeloupe

BenPosted on10:57 pm - Jul 18, 2018

Really impressed with this event and the write up ! 🙂 well done !

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