Girls Who Code

Girls Who Code


And so today I wanted to highlight kind of the problem that we have here in today’s society So, you know, even though computing skills are one of the most sought-after skills in the U.S. job market, with demand growing three times the national average. Research has shown less than a quarter of the computing jobs are held by women and that really is a problem because we want to make sure that women are included in the design of these [projects a] programs and products that a lot of them are consuming, right? And so the more that we have a variety of different ideas and innovations from a variety of different people in different disciplines then the better that we can we can do in terms of our economic opportunities and the opportunities for the girls themselves. And so our real goal and mission, Is to be able to inspire educate and equip girls with those computing skills that they need to pursue 21st century opportunities. I’m gonna try to present actually now if the Internet’s working a little bit better. Okay, and so our vision is to really reach gender parity and computing and technology sectors Across the board and we do that by providing free and flexible computer science programs For elementary, middle, and high school students. So it spans a quite a wide range of each as well. Our largest program that we have as I mentioned is our Girls Who Code clubs. They’re completely free after-school programs for anywhere from third to twelfth grade girls to join our sisterhood of supportive peers and role models and to use computer science to change the world, right? so there’s those two different elements one teaching girls about computer science and those technical skills. Two, thinking about that idea of a community that idea of collaboration and how they can work together to support one another and persist in that field. And thirdly, how can they take these skills and newfound, you know passions to change the world in a positive way, right? So, how can they positively impact their community? which is extremely important as they think about what they care about and how to address those issues. All of the clubs can be led by facilitators. So it could be teachers, librarians, just like you, parents, volunteers from any background or field. Most of our facilitators actually don’t have any computer science experience so you can actually do it without any technical You know skills previously before A lot of our facilitators learn to code alongside the club members So because a lot of the materials are very self guided in terms of tutorials a lot of the work that you’re doing You can learn alongside with the with the students You don’t need to you know do a lot of prep work You don’t need to you know have a better understanding or very in-depth computer science background. And so you do not need to be hesitant for that. We also give lots of support all the way through to just make you know Just to make sure that you have everything that you need to be successful For you and your students. The programs that we have are broken into two different age groups So we have third to fifth grade clubs or 6 to 12 grade clubs. What you can do as a library, you can have a third to fifth grade Club and then maybe you have a you know A sixth to eight grade and then a ninth to twelfth grade, right. You can break it down. In different ways depending on you know your community, the library, you know capacity (in terms of space that you have), so feel free to make it flexible and customizable to exactly what you need. So first I wanted to talk about our 6 to 12 grade clubs and so this has actually been our biggest one so far. We’ve had over 3,000 clubs across the country last year and we’re really excited this year to expand it internationally as well To clubs in Canada and kind of all around the world. And so for the 6 to 12 grade clubs, everything is online based They use our Girls Who Code HQ, which is our online platform. So all you would need is computers and Internet access you don’t need to necessarily download anything or anything like that. All of the curriculum we have over 120 hours So once again very flexible, it can meet different skill levels that your students have as well as for yourself. And so there’s a variety of different coding languages as well that they can choose from to really customize that experience for them As they’re learning these technical skills. Everything is Revolving around a culminating girls who could project which is a really cool project that they create by combining the technical skills that are learning through these tutorials and different kind of coding exercises and combining it with a real-world problem that they identify and that they want to solve and so maybe they’re creating a website on Environmentalism or an app on you know, anti-bullying it’s a variety of different things that they can do. We’ve had another club who you know was interested in Showcasing the the language of their Native American tribe that they were a part of so that was really fascinating because they broke down different aspects of the language and taught people the importance of different words. So lots of different things that you can do based on the community and what they’re interested in. In terms of logistics a six to 12th grade club goes anywhere from about one to two hours per week after school Or it could be on the weekends. It could be you know, every other week. It really depends on your schedule. It usually goes anywhere from 10 to 15 or more meetings In total so you can have it maybe just for the Fall, just for the Spring, you can do it the full school year you could do it year after year. So it depends on your schedule once again. We do typically run during the school year. So anytime between like late August until about June. So we do prefer that you do it during the school year because it will have a lot more support as well. In terms of the 6th to 12th grade clubs model and general ideas of the curriculum as I mentioned a huge aspect of what we do is learning you know more than just code right and so we have this idea of sisterhood And so this is one of the biggest components that we have in our clubs model where we want to make sure that club girls are joining a safe and supportive environment that they can feel free to explore tinker and learn, you know in that type of community. And so we want to make sure they’re seeing themselves as computer scientists beyond the club experience. Afterwards they become part of our alumni network where we have about 90,000 girls either current or Alumni students across the country who they can stay connected with get different access to potential job opportunities, internship opportunities with our corporate partners like Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, you know AT&T, Walmart, Prudential, Disney, variety of others as well. The second component is coding. Right? And so a lot of the materials are our self-guided tutorials that they’ll be learning To really think about the concepts of loops, variables, and a variety of other aspects of programming languages. Depending on what they are choosing to build. And as I mentioned before as well. We have a beginner, advanced, and you know different types of levels For their skills in order to meet the needs and interests for the students. The last piece we have is impact. Right? And so as I mentioned they’re working on that girls who code project to really think about how they’re combining two passions with their skills and so in a 6th to 12th grade club session, per se, the first thing that they’ll be doing is highlighting a woman in tech spotlight So they’ll be learning about a woman who’s already in the tech space to have that inspiring role model that they can discuss and talk About and think about their experiences and how it might affect their own. Second thing they’ll do is those self-guided coding tutorials and work on their project And the last thing will be a stand up right and so there’s different types of kind of sisterhood activities to bring them all together. We have also stand-ups and in ways that they share out any issues they’ve been having with their projects or questions they it might be having as well. Here are two examples of the projects that they’ve created the first one is water well and so this was a really cool way that a group of girls had You know really thought more deeply about water conservation and wanted to address the issue by one, creating a platform where users can take a survey and see and assess what their water usage is typically. They’ll compare that to what the average is right for their community or their area. And then give them suggestions on what they can do to address those issues So it was a really cool way that they they brought those different pieces together. The second one is Pillar and so that was a an app that they were in the process of creating which was a hundred percent anonymous community to share problems, get support, and advice. And so users would be able to kind of post on there anonymously, support each other, you know in in different ways to pay it forward, essentially. The other program based on age group is our third to fifth grade clubs, it’s actually completely brand-new. We piloted it in about thirty different clubs this past spring and we fully release it this year right now we have about 1500 or so signed up so far for third to fifth grade. But the number is definitely still growing and we’d love to get you all involved as well And so once again completely free as well. We’ll give all the curriculum ongoing support all those different pieces. It features our best-selling non-fiction book called “Learn to Code and Change the World”, where we will give you five copies of the book for your club Plus one book per student who enrolls and so you’ll get the full set as well as chapter guides for you know, the librarians or other facilitators who are leaving the club to go through as well. A meeting takes place anywhere from about 45 to 60 minutes per meeting depends on you know, the learning style the reading level and and You know, how you move along with your students and what activities you choose. It could be during lunch, in a turn blocks, or after school. So for those of you working in a library, that’s not in a school library You can definitely do it on the weekends, after school, during the weekday. It’s up to you in terms of scheduling. This is a slightly shorter as well in terms of the amount of times that you’re meeting. It’s anywhere from a five to 10 is usually the sweet spot. So Completely up to you to you could extend it a little bit Shorten it a little bit up to you and how you want to do that. For third to fifth grade Club are three main components here would be; one our books where it also focuses on teaching students about loops and variables and conditions and you know how we can introduce them to computational thinking and computer science. But we also want to show them those ideas of bravery and resilience, right? And so how are they approaching challenges, asking questions, you know, approaching mistakes as well. How can we encourage that social-emotional development in the students? The last piece would be computer science, of course and so they’re trying to do this in a fun and creative way in terms of a club session a third to fifth grade club would first read an aspect of the book have discussion questions that are, you know, sparking their curiosity and creativity, related to the book as well as to those ideas of bravery and resilience. And then lastly, they can do a creative challenge that could either be on a computer using scratch or you could do it entirely offline using unplugged activities and so this is a great way to if you don’t have access to like a Laptop card or a computer lab at that time that you need to you can do unplugged activities without compromising quality of the program. In terms of our impact we have reached over 90,000 girls to date and so every year we want to grow and reach more girls to give them that opportunity, exposure, and excitement around these skills that they can use to go into any discipline whether it’s medicine, art, theater, business, whatever that might be. For our 5,000 college-age alumni so far. They’ve been choosing to major in computer science or related fields 15 times the national average and then specifically for our Black and Latinx alumni, they’re choosing to major in CS or related fields at sixteen times the national average which is huge. And so yeah Great way to encourage them and give them As they get into college and then the workforce afterwards. In order to get started you need three different things The first thing would be space so you could be space in your library where you’re hosting the club and regularly each time that you meet. The second piece would be computers an internet connection for the 6 to 12 grade clubs Chromebooks work fine, laptops, desktops. That’s totally fine. You can use that as long as there’s an internet connection that’s reliable. You wouldn’t really need to like download anything by any means for any of your computers either. If you are a third to fifth grade club, you’ll need copies of our books. Which once again we are we ship you the books for free on after you apply and get approved. The last piece you’ll need is a facilitator who’s 18 and over and will be responsible for the administration and leading the club curriculum. Once again, no technical experience is needed. So, you know if you’d like to do it you are more than welcome whether you have experience or not. Or you can also get volunteers in the community. So it’s really up to you if you are looking for volunteers in the community we also have toolkits to help you, you know with flyers and things like that for you to you know, either look at it or share it out with your networks to recruit your own facilitators we can also support you in that way. Especially as we’re going through it we definitely understand facilitator support is an absolute priority for us and for you, especially based on your capacity and competing priorities. We want to make this low lift as easy as possible. So we have lots of free materials in curriculum. We have a custom online training. So after you apply fill out a background check or submit a background check from your employer and get approved. Then you get a custom online training for about 15 to 20 minutes. You’ll have an online curriculum platform, which is the Girls Who Code HQ, which houses all of our information, curriculum materials, and extended computer science resources. So we’ll also point you in the direction of other computer science resources to brush up on your own skills. The second piece and I think one of the most important is the idea of community and so We have our club Success specialists. You have one assigned per, you know, partner. So as the State of North Dakota your person would be Keeley Howard (she’s great) and she’d be able to support you in getting started She’ll reach out to you of like a couple weeks before your launch date and when you’re going to start your Club Help you answer questions They’re kind of like our technical experts and experts on our curriculum. So they’ll help you get started either by phone, email, Video chat. They’re you know, no matter how big or small your question is that they’re there to help. We have an online community with thousands of other girls who code facilitators you can get connected with and we have in-person and virtual events regionally, so it depends on, you know, the area and the interest so definitely keep a look out for your email on that. We also have logistic support so we have recruitment toolkit. So flyers for you to help recruit students, you know different info sessions and outreach guides and all those different pieces you’ll need to recruit either students or new facilitators if you need. We also have clubs funding. So in addition to everything being free you actually can get free Girls Who Code t-shirts for you and everyone in your club. You can also get up to three hundred dollars as a grant to use on, you know, additional materials, field trips, snacks, anything really to help enhance the club experience. You can also get earlier access to resources so earlier you that… the earlier that you apply so that way you can review it before you get started. So to quickly go over Girls Who Code HQ this is generally what it looks like in terms of the items that we have within it and on Girls Who Code HQ there would be tons of these different types of components that you could click on for different types of resources. If you want to sneak peek of a few things that we offer you can create a Girl Who Code HQ account today actually. Click sign up say you want to start a club or volunteer for a club and then you’re able to view it. For the sample curriculum or a sneak peek? It’ll show you like one or two different things of it. In Girls Who Code HQ we’ve break it broken it down into different pieces this is more for the sixth to twelfth grade clubs. The third to fifth grade will look a little bit different it’ll go actually more by chapters, but this way you can see okay Club plans, how can I make sure I’m designing and customizing my club? Women in tech spotlights. Where is this collection of women who I can highlight in my club to learn about. Learning. So the actual tutorials, planning, and building thinking about your projects. Celebrate. So thinking about activities to help you bond. You could help set up a website actually for your Girls Who Code projects and so you have a website for your own club if you’d like to. And lastly we have clubs fund information signing up for your t-shirts, Lots of fun things there as well and additional support in our facilitator toolkit. Lastly, we have a section called “announcements” where you can actually go through and you know, communicate with your club members or you know, ask questions or it’s a kind of a nice forum for you and your students. So in order to launch it all you need to do is, you know, fill out the application. if you go to this link right here You’ll go to like a general page of like how to start your club You can click on apply here and then it takes about 10 to 15 minutes to apply. After you apply, you’ll get approved, after you fill out a background check or you can upload a letter that saying that you’ve been background check by your employer and then you’re all set to go. If you aren’t able to have it in your space you can always you know find a location near you if you’d like to host it that way and use our toolkits as well to find a location you to connect with for our partnership. So we do have a partnership with the North Dakota State Library and so we’re really excited about that for this year in particular as we you know expand and and work more with students across the state and so we heavily rely on partnerships with community partners. Here are a few of our other ones below as well. And so, you know, this is a way for you to launch multiple clubs within the network, but they also get partnership benefits Such as a designated community partner manager (who would be myself) to support the partner with regular communication, Club updates, outreach support, so you basically have a second additional layer of support as well through the North Dakota State Library as well as with me. You’d also have that designated Club success specialist I mentioned for all the clubs within the network so the entire state of North Dakota would have Keeley Howard. You’d have access to a community partner fund. So in addition to the $300 every individual Club can get plus t-shirts We have a community partner fund. So if you have five or more clubs associated with the partnership the partner as a whole could get $500 for every five Clubs started. This is great to either host an event, disseminate out as additional clubs funding, there’s a variety of ways you can use that. And priority access to engagement opportunities like field trips and other things going on in your community. In order to affiliate yourselves (you) on the page 4 of the application you’ll get to this question It says “is your club affiliated with the Girls Who Code community partner?” all you need to do is just put North Dakota State Library and type it in into the list and they’ll pop up so that’s how you connect yourself. If you forget let me know. I can try to retro actively add you on the back end. But otherwise just make sure to put in North Dakota State Library up there at the top. Okay, so I’d like to take a second now and for the next, you know, five or so minutes answer any questions that you might have. So I’ll stop screen sharing out at the moment. I’ll keep the chat box open on the right as well for me so if you want to add in question there or if you want to Speak out questions. I’m also help. Yeah, happy to help in any way. I’ll wait another second or two if any of you have additional questions in the meantime, I know one of our frequently asked questions is what’s a good size? In terms of suited participation in a club and it really varies it goes anywhere from about 10 to to 20 students I would say that’s on average, but you can also have super successful clubs but like five or six You know students in it or you can have ones as big as you know a hundred. I know in Alaska, we had a club that was part of a School district and they had about 80 which was huge. It’s hard to find that capacity in terms of the space and and things like that, but it’s definitely doable as well. So, you know, it depends on your community if you wanted like five or six or you could have like 80 really depends on you. Okay, as we wait for questions you all give another anecdote, um It was actually it’s it’s really nice to see some of the different libraries across the country to who implement our programs I was actually just talking to another partner that we had in, Omaha in Nebraska and it was really cool to see the things that they were doing with their club and the support system that they had with other clubs in Omaha as well and so this library in particular I think one problem is that they actually had too much interest based on the space that they had and that’s the capacity of the librarians too. And so they had one Librarian who was supporting as the club facilitator and then they had about 20. They capped it out 20 girls in the actual club. I believe they only kept at middle school. So it was six to eighth grade. And what was nice there? Is that in order to kind of garner interest is they had a sign-up but they also had like a really big event where they had kind of like a Design Thinking type of activity where they had girls think about you know what potential projects they can make that are related to You know something that we care about and so they kind of like made a mini Girls Who Code project. During this time and kind of talked about it all together and because they had the girls talking about it and getting excited about it one It was good to kind of push off and get excited about the first time that they’re having their club But also it was good to see you know Like who they thought was ready to join the club because they could only take 20 so I think there was maybe about 30 who are trying to join the club but they narrowed it down to about 20 in that way some people use that type of event in different ways to Maybe more to garner interest and get more girls to do it versus kind of narrowing down But definitely more up to you. We had another librarian in South Dakota who is just talking to you and she actually had never coded before at all. And was kind of hesitant, I think, a little bit about computers in general and just getting set up and the nice thing was that because she was saying that it was very approachable easy and user friendly Plus the help of the club Success specialists. They were able to you know learn about computer science themselves and get that professional development and actually started teaching like thorough coding classes all all throughout as well So it was nice to kind of see them build up their own portfolio and learn alongside the students. Okay, so I’m not seeing any particular questions but if anyone has questions Afterwards as well. I’m just gonna put my email Into the chat. So if you feel free to Copy it down. Once again. I’m Emily Ong I’m the Community Partner manager, and I’m supporting the state of North Dakota for our our clubs and for those of you getting started and once again The only things you need to do in order to get started if you’d like is apply Put on that application that you’re affiliated with the North Dakota State Library And then you’ll get approved and it’s pretty simple after that But definitely encourage you to do it as early as you can So you get those free t-shirts earlier, your books earlier, all those different pieces, as soon as possible and to get the club’s funding because you apply for that in fall and in the spring. Great so with that I’ll turn it back over to Eric I don’t know if you have some last remarks at all, but it was such a pleasure to chat with all of you I hope this was helpful and that it gave you some ideas about how to incorporate things in your library and to complement the things That you’re already doing which I’m sure is a lot and so, you know Definitely once again customizable, pick and choose the things that you like, But we’re just really excited that you’re interested in in our movement and getting girls involved as much as possible. Awesome. Thank you so much, Emily I really appreciated your time with us here today And I hope it will help build interest in this amazing opportunity for for more libraries and schools throughout the state. Thanks so much to you as well on in to everyone I know that has been working hard at the North Dakota State Library I’m excited about this partnership and if anyone has any questions Feel free to reach out to me. I can also, you know share up the slide deck as well afterwards if you’d like. Thanks everyone I’m gonna hang up on the meeting now but such a pleasure and I’ll talk to you all soon. Take Care.

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