On Saturday 14th September about 50 young girls, one (very cute) little boy and one of their teachers arrived wide-eyed & bushy-tailed at Wits for SA and Johannesburg’s 3rd Black Girl Code session. An idea born in the US in 2011, the aim is expose young girls to the world of programming in a way that’s easy to understand at their age (more in my last post).
Volunteers were students and IT professionals from as far afield as Brazil & Zimbabwe. The girls were split into smaller groups according to age and then the fun began!
Three exercises were planned for the day (by the way these can be accessed by anyone at any time with the links below if you’re interested for your own kids):
The robot game was up first and that was by far the most fun. Played outside, this game was to show the girls the basics off programming and that it’s essentially a language to communicate with computers. Each group of girls had to navigate their “robot” (a volunteer) through a maze to collect a stuffed toy using codes/instructions given to them e.g. take one step forward, turn right etc. We had robots colliding all over the place!
Then we moved into the computer lab for scratch. We paired the girls up and showed around the site & how to build their own stories and animations. Even though proficiency in the room varied quite a bit, it was amazing to see how quickly they learned and up picked up & reapplied new things.
We didn’t get to Hackety Hack, the third exercise (time does fly when you’re having fun), but it was certainly mission accomplished from the objectives set out for the day.
Get involved! Be it is as a volunteer or sponsor or if you know of a girl who’d like to attend, please contact Nyari Samushonga on 010 003 2728 / 072 050 8300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I really enjoyed this – it’s really inspiring being around young people & watching them learn & grow. I’ll certainly be back!