News

Girls Who Code club launches at library

BY EVA BENWAY

Observer staff

The Dorothy Alling Memorial Library is offering a free, virtual Girls Who Code club on Mondays from 4-5 p.m. until May 17. Despite what the name may suggest, Girls Who Code is for everyone interested in computer coding in sixth through eighth grade, regardless of their gender identity. Though the program started a few weeks ago, there are still six open seats. 

If you are interested in learning to code, go to www.damlvt.org to register.

Girls Who Code was specifically developed to reach girls and historically underrepresented groups who are not prominent in the field of computer science. Mary Hill, the facilitator of the library’s Girls Who Code club, said: “The tech world is dominated by men, which is alarming because STEM careers are referred to as the jobs of the future.” 

According to the Girls Who Code website, in 2017, only 24 percent of computer scientists were female, and this number seemed to be decreasing. By offering supportive communities for girls and young women to start coding, Girls Who Code hopes to increase the number of women in computer science. Hill echoed this, saying that this club was started to “promote coding skills and excitement about tech careers in girls” in our community. 

Lisa Dion is a computer science lecturer at the University of Vermont. She founded a Girls Who Code club at UVM and was very happy to hear about the founding of a club in Williston. According to Dion, Girls Who Code offers an opportunity to express creativity and “learn because you want to” not for a grade. She also wants older students to know that Girls Who Code is offering a virtual, two-week summer program for students entering grades 10-12. Go to www.girlswhocode.