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Virtual Girls Into Coding #15 & 16 – May 2021

Virtual Girls Into Coding #15 & 16 – May 2021

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On May 9th and 30th, we ran another two successful virtual Girls Into Coding events ( #GIC 15 and 16) both sponsored by the Phoenix fund: The Global Fund For Children and The National Lottery Community Fund.

We delivered a range of different workshops over these two events and were delighted to introduce a brand new one, led by Rehana! Her new workshop, Physical Computing with Circuit Playground Xpress, uses the Adafruit circuit express board. From reading the kind words from the participants at the end, we just knew they loved it. It’s so great that we are able to keep introducing different workshops for the girls to explore & learn from. What’s also a focus for us is finding new ways to make sure the attendees are able to enjoy the hands-on experience of physical face-to-face events, but in an online virtual setting. We achieve this by sending out kits, materials & other hardware prior to the event, so the girls have everything they need at home ready to participate in the Zoom event.

The workshops that ran over the course of the month included:

Grabber Robot – This workshop was led by me, Avye. The girls built a robot powered by a Microbit that could be used as a grabber. They added different components, wired it all up, and programed the robot using MakeCode.

Mechanical Eyes –The girls built a pair of mechanical eyes. They added a Microbit to control the motors that move the eyes, added another Microbit to give them remote control. They used MakeCode blocks to make the eyes look around the room and blink!

Learning to move a robot arm – The girls built a 3D printed robot arm and learnt how to make it move. In the workshop, they learnt about all the components and what they do. They learnt about how to position the robot arm using code (this is called Kinematics), and then they coded the robot arm so that they could experience and understand how this works in real life! They used micropython for this activity.

Physical Computing with Circuit Playground Xpress – The girls used capacitive touch to make music with the Circuit Playground Express and a DIY cardboard keyboard, and coded musical tones onto the board using Adafruit Makecode.

Exploring 3D Design – Graham led this workshop. This workshop was designed to get the girls quickly up to speed on core skills, best practices – while having an opportunity to explore Blender, SketchUp, Sculptris & TinkerCAD.

Robots and behaviours – This was a fun introduction to creating behaviours for robots & was led by Ben. The girls got to use a robot simulator and programmed a robot with insect-like traits to move around using python code.

Microbit Robot – This workshop was led by me, Avye. The girls built a robot powered by a Microbit adding a motor controller board, an ultrasonic sensor, wired the components together, and then programmed it using MicroPython.

The Crawlbot – The Crawlbot session was delivered by Llewelyn . The participants had to build a 2-legged crawling robot. Then attach a Microbit controller, use MakeCode blocks to code the legs to move in a lifelike manner. 

Thank you so much Llewelyn, Sam, Rehana, Graham & Ben for all of your support as well as hard work. The girls thoroughly enjoyed working through the challenges of their activities in their dedicated breakout room.

After completing the workshop activities, we all returned from the different breakout rooms & regrouped in the main virtual room. Part TWO of the event then took place, where we had the opportunity to listen to the inspiring talks from our guest speakers of the day.

  • Tara Ojo
  • Cristina Has
  • Amina Aweis
  • Amrita Das

What I always like to do in these blogs is to stress the importance of being surrounded by inspirational female role models working in tech. So thank you to our four guest speakers for the great messages and advice that you all shared with us.

At the end of the event, I gathered with the other mentors to discuss the highlights and what we could perhaps do better next time. I was pleased that all of the participants of my workshop managed to get their robots up and running! For next time, I mentioned how it’s always important to check in regularly to make sure everyone is up to speed with their task while continuing to encourage the girls to also help each other out.

All in all, what a successful two events those were. Every time I run one it always seems to become smoother and smoother, so what seems like my favourite event actually turns out to be all of them! Once again I can’t say thank you enough to our amazing team of mentors and the group of inspiring speakers, which without you guys these events wouldn’t be possible. Can’t wait for the next one.

Also, well done to the winners of our quiz who won a Microbit starter kit and a Coding for beginners book!

Last but not least, I would also like to say a BIG THANK YOU to the Phoenix Fund (The Global Fund For Children and The National Lottery Community Fund ), our sponsor for these 2 Virtual Girls Into Coding events.

Without this type of support, we could not continue doing what we do.

Thank you everyone and can’t wait for the next one!!

Avye

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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