Girls who code


Buttons and flyers are laid out to the attendees of Girls Who Code while Azroui is excited to present and meet the attendees. Photo by Ella Ridge.

Ella Ridge, Reporter

On Dec. 13, during periods 3, 4, and 5 in the auditorium, representatives from the club, Girls Who Code, gave informative presentations about computer science and technology extracurricular activities and opportunities outside of the classroom for young women.

Girls Who Code is a free after-school computer science program for girls in grades 3-12 that offers a supportive and safe environment for girls to meet peers and role models, as well as learn how to code. Rania Azroui, a computer science teacher at Taft Varsity organized this event.

“It was my idea. I want to inspire young women to explore various careers within Computer Science and technology. Girls Who Code offers an after school club and free summer programs,” said Azroui.   

During this event, speaker and representative from Girls Who Code, Chelsey Echerarria, presented an educational slide show to the girls who attended.

“Today, I came into talk about our summer immersion program, which is for current 10th and 11th graders over the summer and is located in downtown Chicago. We are also trying to start a club program at Taft to get the girls coding in the club environment. As girls, we are not always feeling comfortable or socialized to do these sorts of things, “ explained Echerarria.

The girls also did some hands-on learning and worked with various coding websites, like “Scratch”.

Sophomore Alima Thun (Div. A222) talked about what she learned during the session. “Today I learned a lot about a coding website called Scratch and how to set up a program using it. I definitely would consider doing this when I’m older. I learned about the different fields within computer science and all the ways I could branch out into areas within technology.”

Girls Who Code is a non-profit that is geared towards providing free programming to young women, in order to help close the gender gap, as currently there are more men in the computer science space than women.

“The inspiration behind making the coding presentation specifically for girls is to start a Girls Who Code Club to provide various opportunities to explore coding and computing in a fun and exciting way. It’s also a great opportunity to increase the number of women in computing and close the gender gap in technology,” said Azroui.

Over the coming months, Girls Who Code are planning to provide additional computer science programs. The Girls Who Code club offers a fantastic opportunity for the girls at Taft Varsity to learn, as well as excel, in the area of computer science and technology.