Girls in Computing

Girls in Year 9 recently participated in a LEGO mind storm robot activity aimed at promoting the engagement of girls in the Computing curriculum. Please read the blog below written by the students on how the day went.

Before we programmed the robots, we had a wonderful presentation by Dr Lynne Blair which was about the basics of computing and what we would be doing today. It contained information about the diverse and high salary job opportunities and female role models who could inspire young women - like us - to take Computing for GCSE. She also told us about the lack of women who take Computing for their GCSE options. The low number of girls taking computing or IT for GCSE, could have a lot of explanations: not being encouraged, lack of female role models or not having any idea of what computing or IT is about and the diverse number of jobs available in the field.

After that, we worked in groups and programmed robots to move and do different functions using remotes and sensors. We drove them over different areas (such as arenas, obstacle courses and ramps). We used MakeCode to program and make the robots move and used different sensors (such as infrared and ultra-sonic) to improve the functions of the robots. By using MakeCode we learned more about coding and how it could be used in everyday life.

In the afternoon, we helped small groups of children from a few different primary schools (in year 6) to code robots. We helped them to build fun obstacle courses as well as beginning to teach them how to use Make Code. We worked on what some of the different blocks do; and how they work in conjunction with the robots, seeing how both motors work, how to steer and stop, all using remote controls. It was really enjoyable to help the children learn and have fun with coding all afternoon.

In summary, everyone enjoyed the activities and are really thankful for all of the effort that was put into this event that allowed us girls to be able to do this. Being able to do this event enabled a new door to be opened for us (GCSE and A-level wise) and it opened our eyes to many new career paths that many of us are considering doing in the future.

We really must thank Mr Bradley and Dr. Lynne Blair for setting all of this up and encouraging us to do IT and Computing in the future. We will take this program into consideration in the future.