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August 2, 2019

JCCC’s Girls Who Code bring their bold ideas to life.

In a predominantly male industry, Girls Who Code are claiming their spot at the console.

Each Thursday during fall and spring semesters, JCCC’s Girls Who Code Club convenes in the CoLab at JCCC. The 30 members in grades 6-12 explore computer science and coding under the tutelage of their instructors—women succeeding in the world of STEM.

The girls gather for two hours each week, learning coding platforms like Scratch and Khan Academy. Beginners start with less intimidating approaches to programming while experienced coders work with JavaScript and Python, mobile user interface and source code editors.

And as the girls dream up real-world solutions and innovations, they hone essential career skills before many of them are eligible to pass their driver’s license test.

Learning by doing

The first girl coders arrived at JCCC in 2015. Since then, the program has doubled in size. Club members bounce ideas off each other, tackle problems, and develop sites and applications using tools like Raspberry Pi. Each girl starts at her individual level and grows at her own pace.

But the girls aren’t always glued to a keyboard. This year, club members took field trips to the Apple Store and KC Robotics Club. Cisco’s cybersecurity experts joined them for a Cyber Threat Response Clinic. The girls learned about hacking tools used to launch attacks and how Cisco security products defend a network. Instructors introduced a variety of interactive coding technologies, including Raspberry Pi and Jewelbots.

At the end of May the club threw a party to celebrate the projects that had been developed during the year:

  • A food website that offers recipes and nutritional information on healthy food options.
  • Codable Jewelbots Friendship Bracelets that light up based on coded instruction.
  • "The ShotBot" app, which reminds you which immunizations you need based on your age and provides health information about why you need the immunization and how the shot affects your health.
  • A social networking site designed to connect entrepreneurs.

"The project-based learning focus to tackle real world issues serves as a powerful experience," said Sandra Warner, Executive Director of Business Continuity Management and club sponsor. “It inspires us all to use technology to make a positive difference.”

Code with us!

Meet other girls who share your interests. Learn from successful local women working in the industry: Abbey Trotta, Archana Asthana, Ariadne Spes, Asha Mehrer and Lindsay Brechler. There is no fee to participate. Registration opens in August.

Girls Who Code is a national initiative founded by Reshma Saujani to close the gender gap in technology. It’s currently on track to achieve gender parity in computer science by 2027.

Series of three images showing girls in the "Girls Who Code" program