by Michelle Brooks | staff writer
As an initiative to help girls get into the computer science industry, senior Eloise Jewett has been working to start a chapter of Girls Who Code on campus. Girls Who Code is a national organization that introduces girls to computer science – no matter what their skill level in the field might be.
“It’s kind of like an initiative to get girls in engineering fields. You don’t have to have taken any computer science before,” Jewett said. “It’s just kind of to get or encourage the exploration of that kind of stuff. Even if you don’t want to get into that field necessarily,you can just explore what there is to offer and see if it fits, basically.”
Any school can start this club as long as they have a sponsor, a location, and a group of girls.
“Yeah, it’s a national organization that you can make a club at your school or your community or whatever. I looked it up online and I got a teacher, Mr. Guerra, to sign up for an account to become a sponsor,” Jewett said.”So, right now we’re looking for people to get in because, to start a club at Johnson, you have to start with at least 20 people. So I’m looking for that right now.”
As far as the requirements to get into the club, you don’t have to have any prior knowledge of technology: however, you do have to have your listening ears.
“I’m not entirely sure yet because they have these modules that we would do every week and I haven’t seen one yet. They way they describe it is: it starts off very basic and,I guess, it gets more complex as it goes on…You can have no experience at all. They’re just trying to introduce people, really,” Jewett said.
Girls Who Code is an extracurricular activity that was created to let girls enjoy the technology and engineering fields, without any serious competitions.
“One of the main things about it is it’s just to work on projects. You know, if you wanna work on a app, it’s gonna be involving girls to do whatever they want,” sponsor Jose Guerra said. “Like, if you wanted some kind of game, you could work on coding a game and if it’s a specific type of coding, then we’ll focus on that. So, it’s kind of open, but try to get to build things with programming.”
The club also gives females the opportunity to create different things with the technology in their hands.
“We could get to that point. We can definitely get to that point if we just start building something. It can be from let’s figure out how the Instagram app is made,” Guerra said. “We can learn how to do that, even though Instagram is already in the app store. We can make one and just see how it works or we can start off from scratch and build something that’s never been built based on other ideas. We can do that.”
Although the club just started, Jewett has already planned the club to be at a convenient time and place for everyone.
“We’re planning on having it in the computer science room on the third floor with Mr. Guerra. We’re trying to work out the scheduling right now because, according to the website, you need 2 hours a week,” Jewett said. “But, everybody kind of agreed it’s kind of excessive so we’re gonna see if we can make it one hour a week. But, it’ll be in Mr. Guerra’s room.”
In the future, Guerra and Jewett are hoping to pull more females in with more advertisement in the school.
“Right now, it’s by word of mouth. But, by next week we’ll have posters up there, maybe even make an announcement and maybe even consider a certain kind of social media but it’s still in the works of working out those kinks,” Guerra said.