Girls introduced to coding at summer school

Written by: Tom Austin-Morgan | Published:

Cambridge University Computer Laboratory and Cambridge Coding Academy have held the first Coding School for Girls, which helped 76 girls, aged 15 to 18 with little or no prior coding experience, design and develop an online game, build Instagram-like image filters and program drones to fly semi-autonomously. The aim of the one-week coding summer school was to spur excitement in digital innovation and inspire young women to explore opportunities in technology and computer science.

Dr Robert Harle, who helped organise the event last week at the University, commented, "We were really impressed with how excited, interested and creative the girls were. Starting from nothing, they were able to build a simple web game and then independently add new gameplay options, graphics, scoring mechanisms and all sorts of great additions we had never thought of."

The school materials, developed by Cambridge Coding Academy with University input, taught coding in a hands-on fashion that engaged the girls and meant they were learning by doing. Expert tutors were on hand to encourage them and assist in their exploration beyond the syllabus, while daily talks allowed them to expand their knowledge of computer science.

When asked whether the course had affected their perception of computer science, one of the girls commented, "I better understand the subject and realise that it is extensive. I now would really like to study it at university as I feel it incorporates all the things I enjoy: maths, problem solving, creativity and design."

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