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Just a week before Computer Science Week in Hillsborough County Public Schools, the Coleman Middle School Girls Who Code club participated in an exciting, hands-on, coding field trip. Agile Thought, a Tampa Bay area software development company hosted the event at its headquarters on Rocky Point.
The girls met a number of mentors and role models before getting their hands dirty in competitions of engineering, communication and ingenuity. For example, in the marshmallow challenge, teams compete to assemble the tallest freestanding structure in a given time period with a set of materials that include uncooked spaghetti, one marshmallow, tape and string.
Later, the girls learned how to create apps using React-Native. They were able to code an App and get it to work on their phones.
Kyle Arnold is an instructor and sponsor of the 'Girls Who Code" club at Coleman. "Girls Who Code is an interest-based club that meets twice a month at our school," he said. "Girls come with all levels of expertise and experience. They get introduced to new technology and concepts as well as meet female rolemodels in the world of technology. This is their second year of visiting Agile Thought."
At Coleman, coding is taught in 7th and 8th grade elective classes. Girls Who Code is another opportunity for them to use Computer Science in a comfortable, supportive environment. It is important that girls see that opportunities abound in the technology field, regardless of their knowledge of code. Arnold said, "Our girls got to meet women who excel in marketing, sales, and social media application as well as more traditional programmers. This type of experience empowers girls to see themselves in roles that fit with their strengths."
Coleman student and Girls Who Code club member Ava Voronec loves the opportunies the club gives her. "I like coding because it allows me to express my creativity. I enjoyed the field trip when we worked hands-on with Agile Thought mentors who helped us code our own App on our phones. I like seeing how the coding I'm learning today can apply to many career choices in my future."
Joe Simmons, STEM Coordinator for K-12 in HCPS went along for the field trip. "The girls were extremely excited and were able to see the real world application of the coding they've been learning. It is also important for the girls to see successful women in the tech sector, which is currently a male-dominated field".
Recently Bay News 9 visited Coleman's Girls Who Code classroom. Find out what reporter Dalia Dangerfield discovered for herself. View the video and read her story at http://www.baynews9.com/fl/tampa/news/2018/12/07/teacher-starts--girls-who-code--club-at-coleman-middle-school.