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Girls Into Coding #2 – Nov 2018

Girls Into Coding #2 – Nov 2018

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Girls Into Coding # 2!

Sunday, November 25!  My second Girls Into Coding Event had arrived. I was so excited.  The first one had been held back in July & I couldn’t wait to do it all over again.  I’d pretty much started to plan it the moment the first one had ended.  Thanks to a successful fundraising campaign, I was able to buy some Micro:bit starter kits & a bundle of other tech goodies to give to each girl attending the event.

I chose to do the Coded creature Micro:bit workshop using Tiny Tech kits.  I always enjoy prepping the Tiny Tech kits because they are my own creation and it gives me an opportunity to find ways to improve it in some way. I had to reassemble all of the kits, carefully looking out for potential problems or anything that might need repairing since the last time they were used – or just ways to improve the build.   I reworked the instruction sheets and made sure everything was explained clearly. In addition, I had to prepare a load of tech goodie bags with gifts for all the girls that were to attend.

At 12.00 on the dot, I arrived at the VaynerMedia offices in Shoreditch, where the event was being hosted.  I had not physically seen the place before. I was amazed with the amount of space & impressed with the style & layout of the furniture.  I felt really lucky to be able to host my event in such a cool place. I powered up all of the computers and greeted all of the mentors, volunteers & guest speakers who arrived before the start of the event.  Later, I signed in all of the girls one by one as they arrived.

Once everyone was shown to their workshop area, I briefly introduced myself and then talked about how I got into tech. I followed this up by outlining the itinerary for the afternoon. As mentioned earlier, I ran a Micro:bit Coded Creature workshop using my Tiny Tech kits. There was a Robotic Arm workshop and a Micro:bit Physical computing workshop.

Straight after my presentation there was a talk by Nishka, a 13 year old coder with a passion for technology & delivering workshops.  Nishka talked about ‘Learning Without Barriers’. An inspiring story about her recent trip to India where she introduced young girls from underprivileged backgrounds to programming with the Micro:bit.

Soon after Nishka’s talk, the workshops began.

The three workshops on the day were:

Workshop 1: Robotic Arm led by Mikel(@itwasmk) & Llewelyn (@tclearn)

The girls learned how to control the movements of a robot arm using Python from a Raspberry Pi computer. They connected a games controller to make the control easier. Then challenged themselves to write codes to move objects around on the table.

(Llewellyn, is a computer scientist, a maker, an educator and the founder of TCL, Think Create Learn, delivering courses to students based around projects. His son Mikel is working alongside him and led the workshop).

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 the various challenges.  I was particularly pleased to see two young girls, who had never used a Microbit before, deal with the challenges like pros!

Workshop 3: Physical Computing with the Micro: bit led by Anne & Susana from FireTech (@FireTechCamp)

The girls had an inside look at the science behind everyday gadgets. They learned how to use electronic components such as microprocessors, motors, switches, and LEDs to create mini projects. The workshop was well organised with loads of components available for the attendees to explore.

Halfway through the afternoon, everybody had a refreshment break. We resumed with another lightning talk delivered by Kari Lawler.

Kari (@kariLawler) is a 15-year-old, founder of Youth 4 AI;  She is the youngest winner ever of the Future Face of Technology & Innovation Award 2018 and has recently been awarded the Special Recognition award for her outstanding contribution to the city of Birmingham. Kari is an AI expert and she talked about “What is AI”. It was a challenging topic for the young crowd but Kari pulled it off!  I am sure her talk has triggered lots of curiosity!

Following on from Kari, was Rehana (@rehana_makes). Rehana is an e-textiles designer specialising in wearable and educational technology. She delivered a talk on “Creative Tech” and gave us an exciting demonstration of the Mini Mu musical glove powered by the Microbit. The girls loved it!

All 3 workshops went really well. The girls, mentors, and volunteers all seemed to be enjoying themselves. There was enough time to fit everything in & 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 on hand.

The volunteers were:

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

– Tom: Scientist & STEM educator.

– Kevin (@kevin_synnott): Science & Tech fan

– Neil (@neillbogie): A tech & coding ambassador

We finished off the day by presenting all of the girls with a Micro: bit starter pack, a Microbit Tinker Kit, and loads of stickers – all in cool Raspberry Pi & Project Prep bags – Thank you Pimoroni and Project Prep.

I definitely think that the day was a huge success & I would like to say a massive thank you to all the mentors, volunteers & speakers who helped make Girls Into Coding #2 run so smoothly.  A special thank you to Llewellyn, Mikel, Anna & Susana from Firetech, Firetech, Tom, Kevin, Neill, Kari, Rehana, Nishka, Magda Wood from Microbit Org, mum, dad, VaynerMedia, Micro: bit foundation, Raspberry Pi, Pimoroni, Project Prep and last but not least, all of the wonderful people who supported my crowdfunding campaign!.

The event received excellent feedback from the girls & their parents….many asked when the next one was! I also read positive comments and words of encouragement from people on Twitter. I was thrilled with the positive feedback.  It really made all the hard work worthwhile.

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

 

P.S.  I am thinking of ‘Girls into coding #3’!

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!

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