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Girls Into Coding #3_Apr2019

Girls Into Coding #3_Apr2019

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So here we are, Sunday, April 28th, 2019, the day of my third Girls Into Coding event! The last two events were great & I was very excited about this one.

I couldn’t wait to see if it would be equally or even more successful. Previously, I had to crowdfund, but this time, Microsoft Reactor sponsored my event. What an honour! A massive thank you to Jim & Emily for being in our corner!

On the morning of the event, I had to arrive early with my parents so we could set up. The Microsoft Reactor was definitely a good place to host the event! It’s a great space & really welcoming. There was loads of help available from the Reactor team. With their help, I even had time for a few games of table football, Sonic The Hedgehog & table tennis before the guests started to arrive.

As everyone came in, I signed them in with the assistance of Chanel & Nay (from the Reactor team)

and got ready to deliver my talk – ‘ I’m a girl just like you’. I wanted to give a talk to spread the message that girls can do or be anything they want if they are passionate about a subject and if they dedicate time to it.

After my talk, I felt super happy and couldn’t wait to begin running my workshop.

This time, I decided to come up with a completely new workshop activity to run on my table. I conjured up a set of small robots, from upcycled materials which used the micro:bit. Each robot had to be individually made and required loads of designing, cutting, drilling, testing & modifying. The process was fun and I got a chance to be innovative. Several changes had to be made along the way to enable the robots to work as kits which could be assembled by the girls. The kits were made up of several components, including servos, LEDs & sensors.

On the day, the girls had to rebuild, wire up and then code the robots into action.

As for the other workshops, Llewellyn & Mikel, ran a Raspberry Pi Camera workshop. The girls had an opportunity to make a cool digital device which was then coded with python to capture photos & videos. This workshop was an excellent way to challenge the girls’ coding skills further and allowed them to have some fun documenting themselves.

Ben and Val ran a Micro: bit Pet workshop. It was a fun and creative workshop, which triggered the girls’ imagination. Whilst having an element of electronics & coding, it also involved making and crafting skills to produce some cool creations.

One hour into the workshops and most of the girls had finished the practical side of their projects and were beginning to start the code. At this point, we all had a bit of a break & an opportunity to listen to two talks before resuming.

The first one, called “How to be the best you can be” and was given by Yasmin Bey @RPi_Yaz14 She is the EU Digital Girl of the Year 2015/16, a Raspberry Pi Developer, a Speaker, Entrepreneur,

the Everywoman One to Watch winner 2016 and one of the Inspiring Juniors UK 2018 winners. She gave great advice to the girls and talked about why it is ok to make mistakes, to keep learning, to give back, to trust yourself and your own intuition and not underestimating the importance of hard work.

The second talk, ”Tech, Parkour, and Fashion blogging Beyond Fears” was delivered by Celine Boudier @CelineBoudier, who is Engineering lead at Memrise, a Writer and Alternative Model.

Celine encouraged the girls to go further. She told them that to progress, you have to start with the basics and with constant practice comes improved skills, knowledge and understanding. In summary, her message was “Be What You Want” and “Do Things Beyond Fears”.

When the girls completed their workshops, they had a chance to interact with one another and look at each other’s projects. We finished off the day by presenting all of the girls with a Micro: bit starter pack, a “Woman in Science” or “Girls Think of Everything” book and a bag of swag of course!!!! Also, Microsoft Reactor added some extra goodies into the mix.

Overall I think Girls Into Coding #3 was a success and I was able to gather very good feedback that will help me improve the next event. There was a steady hum of activity & excitement throughout the day. I felt proud, seeing the girls succeed with their projects & it was a pleasure to be a part of their journey.

Finally, I would like to give a massive thank you to all the amazing mentors & volunteers (Llewelyn & Mikel, Ben & Val, Mike, Tom & Kevin), speakers (Yasmin & Celine), Microsoft reactor team (Jim, Chanel, Nay & the tech, set up and security team), Aga, the Pimoroni team, the Microbit team & Digital Maverick (who generously sent me some empty Microbit boxes that I used to make chassis for my robots) and not forgetting all the girls who came and their supportive parents.

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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