Tallaght Community School

Coding Course for Girls

Coding Course for Girls

My name is Kathy and along with some of my fellow transition year students, I took part in a course; coding for girls. The whole point of the program was to encourage girls to discover different courses and try out new things; to make girls think that as well as considering courses like nursing and beauty that they could also consider engineering and computer coding?

On the first day I met at the front gate of Trinity with some other of my peers and students from other schools. We then met with our supervisors and went on a brief tour around trinity, before ending up at Oriel house where the course was to take place. First our supervisors introduced themselves and told us what to expect in the coming week. They told us important information like this week ahead of us is not intended to make us instantly love tech and coding, but to introduce us to different formats and routes we could take in life. This really struck me.

After the brief introduction we played an ice breaker game to encourage us to talk to different people. First, we introduced ourselves then we were given a sheet. We had to go around the room and find something we had in common with another person, let that be first letter in a name or star signs. It was really fun and I was able to step out of my comfort zone as I saw I wasn’t the only one nervous.

After we introduced ourselves, we were put in teams and had to assign a team name and team rules. In my group was me, Leah, Asiphe and Anastasia. Our team name was ‘We all like purple’ and our team rule was “don’t be afraid to speak, none of us are monsters”.

Soon after, we were sent to the computer room to take an assessment quiz then soon after we began to code. I was at one laptop with leah and then it was Asiphe and Anastasia. Before we started coding, we were asked if we knew anything about coding. I knew a bit as I did it in primary school for a bit but that was it. Many people didn’t know too much either so I wasn’t alone.

We all logged onto scratch and started trying to make the signature cat move with codes. The key to coding is your animation will only do what you programme it to do. Sometimes some things are a bit too broad to code at once. Our learning intention for that day was trying to programme our own game. Me and Leah decided on a dinosaur game like doodle jump, were you had to hop on tiles and fight monsters. We worked on it throughout the morning.

After our lunch we continued on our programming until the end of the day

For the rest of the week, we worked on our games and watched many videos about coding and how the internet works. We also presented our games to the class and got to see many other creative ways people expressed themselves through games. Leah and I’s game malfunctioned a bit but we were able to improvise and fix it in the end. It didn’t exactly turn out how we wanted it to look but again we improvised and made a simpler version of our idea. We loved it a lot, along with other groups games. My favourite out of the other groups games was Caoimhe and Aisling’s pac man game, which was really funny to see and entertaining.

The rest of the week flew by!!

On the last day we participated in a workshop with members of the trinity access program and they were talking to us about how our inventions and creativity can better our world . We all got to create a dream town and then the worst imaginable town we could think of. In the worst town we had to think of inventions that could improve the conditions and inconveniences. One of the ideas that my team thought of was a drone that could help reduce long lines in a restaurant. The drone would bring out the menu to the people outside so they could pick what they wanted outside and wait could be seated, while the food was brought to them. I really liked the idea and so did many others.

To end the week, we got to play with a microbit . First, we had to connect the microbit to the computer then we made it say different things and play music. It could also send messages to other microbits in the room. It was really fun to do. The best part was we could connect the microbit to our games and use it as a remote controller, so when you completed a level the words “WINNER” would display on the microbit and a song would play. This effect was really cool!

Throughout the week I learned many things about coding and completing riddles to do with coding. I can’t speak for everyone who attended but I really enjoyed learning how to make games with friends. I also made friends with some of the people l met there. They really made the week even more enjoyable.

I hope this encourages people to step out of the comfort zone and try different things!!

By Kathy Okoeguale

Balrothery, Dublin 24, D24 X759, Ireland.
01 451 5566
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