Girls Who Code Inspires Future Female Computer Scientists at Hamilton Middle School
The Girls Who Code organization is making waves at Hamilton Middle School, as it continues its mission to empower young girls to explore the world of computer science. The club, which kicked off its first official meeting in October, has garnered an encouraging turnout of young and aspiring computer scientists.
Girls Who Code aims to provide free coding curriculum to school clubs, emphasizing coding skills, teamwork, and sisterhood. Their primary goal is to inspire students, especially girls, to see themselves as computer scientists in a field that has been historically dominated by men. According to the National Science Foundation, only 18% of working women hold STEM-related occupations, compared to 29% of men. Girls Who Code is committed to closing this gender gap in STEM careers.
Tricia Aguas, a science teacher at Hamilton Middle School and the club sponsor, highlighted the importance of introducing girls to computer science. She stated, “Girls this age don’t realize that they have the potential to be computer scientists, to be scientists in general, be good at math. I feel like something fun like this, coding, for example, is extremely important to cultivate so that they know that they are part of STEAM and they can be leaders in the field of computer science.”
Members of the Girls Who Code club will engage in various coding projects and utilize the organization’s curriculum, which offers coding activities of varying complexities to cater to students of all experience levels.
Terrence Eveline, the Media Services Specialist who initiated the Girls Who Code club at Hamilton last year, expressed his motivation for promoting diversity in technology. “I’m a huge proponent of technology integration and the power of technology use, and I know that there is a lack of diversity in the field. Why wouldn’t we want more women [in technology] when they represent half of the population? I think it’s a great opportunity to expose them to that world.”
With STEM careers on the rise, the field of computer technology is expected to grow by 15% by 2031, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Learning to code in middle school not only equips students with valuable skills but also prepares them for the job market of the future, with potential career paths in mobile app development, information security, programming, and system engineering.
Eighth-grader Amaya Cobb, an aspiring member of the Girls Who Code club, shared her ambitions to design and code her own VR video game. She emphasized the importance of this opportunity, saying, “I joined Girls Who Code because girls don’t really get as many opportunities in the technology field as boys do.”
As the club embarks on a year of exciting learning opportunities, Terrence Eveline hopes they will be able to participate in coding competitions with other HISD campuses, further fostering the development of these young computer scientists and helping to bridge the gender gap in STEM careers.
To learn more about Girls Who Code, visit their website.