Black Girls CODE, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization, hosted a computer programming workshop for young girls ages 7-17 at Spelman College on Saturday, Oct. 13. As a part of BGC’s Summer of CODE campaign, the one-day workshop taught over 90 girls the basics of HTML, CSS and basic front-end web development.
The students were divided into groups based on their age and experience. First-time students were placed in the blue, yellow or green group, while intermediate and returning students were placed in the orange group. The girls were tasked with building a website that was voted on in class. Students selected a peer representative to present their customized website to an audience of parents at the close of the day.
While the girls were hard at work, parents enjoyed a technology career panel titled, “Imagine the Impact: Guiding your Child into a Career in Technology,” that urged and equipped them to embrace and encourage their daughter’s creative interests. They were provided tips, free resources and references like Codecademy.com and KhanAcademy.org – websites that offer free educational videos in technology and much more.
The workshop proved to be extremely beneficial for both parents and their daughters. One parent commented, “As a parent, I am so appreciative of the insight provided, of the opportunity and potential within the IT industry.” She also noted that her daughter stated, “For once I felt I belonged.” The mother’s testimony continued as she stated, “SHE [my daughter] has now decided what SHE wants to do.” The woman’s daughter plans on majoring in computer programming at Spelman or Georgia Tech.
Professionals who participated in the panel included Felecia Hatcher, CEO of Fever Pops; Ramanathan Singaram, office principal of ThoughtWorks; Felicia Jones, president of Atlanta Black Data Processing Professionals; Mrs. Iretta Kearse, professor of Computer Science at Spelman College; Christina M. Gardner-McCune, Ph.D., enrollment, and community college of computing, Georgia Institute of Technology; Kimberly Bryant, founder and executive director of Black Girls CODE, and Yvette Caslin, SVP of strategy and development at Steed Media, who moderated the conversation.
Bryant assures this workshop isn’t the last of BGC-Atlanta. “This is the second of many similar workshops planned by Black Girls CODE for the Atlanta Metro area. Plans are to build a local chapter which will host ongoing workshops on subjects such as mobile app development, robotics and gaming for girls in the coming months.”
Photo Credit: Lisa M. Zunzanyika, Simply Zee Imagery