Above: Westridge School's Girls Who Code Club
Girls Who Code is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology. According to founder and CEO Reshma Saujani, the organization was founded in 2012 on her belief that when girls learn to code, "they become change agents in their communities." Today there are hundreds of clubs across the country inspiring more than 40,000 participants to see a future in computer science and engineering, and creating supportive environments for them to thrive.
In March 2017, Westridge science teacher Edye Udell formed a Westridge Girls Who Code Club that meets weekly on campus. Although still fairly new to Westridge, the club has had nearly 20 students sign up within the first several months of its existence; Dr. Udell says an average of 15 girls attend meetings regularly.
"Much of our time is spent actually learning how to come up with a viable design for something that could help our community," says Dr. Udell. "We're currently working on designing a compliment generator."
The Girls Who Code organization provides curriculum specifically designed for students with a range of computer science experience, focusing on building both soft skills like teamwork and time management, and technical skills like functions, variables, and conditionals.
"We are all learning together," says Dr. Udell. "Coding is much more than just the computer language and coding that goes into a product; the design process is a much larger part than any of us realized."
Together, the Westridge Girls Who Code Club is building a bright future for girls in tech.
To learn more about Girls Who Code, visit the website at GirlsWhoCode.com.
Above: Science teacher and club founder Dr. Edye Udell shows students an example of how to build a website wireframe.