Interview with a DIY Girl: On Web Design and Creative Coding

Last week, we completed Week 7 of our 10-­week Web Design and Creative Coding Program for middle school girls at Vaughn Next Century Learning Center. It’s the beginning of coding programs that we plan to offer in 2016 for middle school girls. 

We are teaching HTML and CSS within the context of developing a mobile app idea and creating a website to effectively promote that app. We are also testing our curriculum on Processing, a language for learning how to code within the context of the visual arts. 

Working with this group of middle school girls has been fulfilling on many fronts. It’s exciting to not only hear them speak confidently about what they want their code to do, but also use the correct terminology when doing so. Girls are throwing around “divs”, “selectors”, and “attributes” like it’s 2016. They are practicing code in an environment that encourages failure, collaboration, and new ideas. We can’t wait to offer more programs like this.

To learn more about the impact on the girls and get feedback, we interviewed, Beatriz, a 7th grader in the program and asked her about her thoughts on learning to code! 

1. What do you think of the creative coding program so far? 

It’s difficult at times ­­remembering the symbols. But it’s also fun! You can make cool stuff and show it to your friends. It’s motivating. 

2. How is it motivating? 

Well, you guys motivate me all the time. When I have a problem, I turn to you. You make me believe I can do anything. 

3. How do you see yourself using code in the future?

I think knowing how to code is a good way to make more money. I can create an app that does anything I want. I think I can also use it as a hobby. 

4. How can we make this program better?

We could take trips in the field. I want to see the things we learn in action and talk to other women about their experiences.

This program was made possible with the generous support from Time Warner Cable’s Connect a Million Minds Initiative. We are grateful for this grant that will allow us to teach over 150 middle school girls to code! 

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