On Wednesday, September 14, as part of Back to School Week, the White House hosted a summit on Computer Science for All. The event marked progress on expanding computer science education since President Obama’s call to action in his State of the Union eight months ago, and celebrate new commitments in support of the effort.
Six girls from Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay participated in today’s summit representing the Girl Scouts organization. Students from around the country were selected to present their computer science projects during a showcase following the White House Summit.
“I am interested in code because it allows me to innovate and create anything I can dream of, “ said tenth grader C’Yenna, who presented her website design project at the White House.
As an organization, Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay has made a commitment to offering STEM programming to girls across the Delmarva Peninsula. Two programs in particular teach girls how to code—Making It From Scratch and Website Designer. The five projects displayed during the Computer Science for All Summit include a website coded in HTML5 and CSS, created by Sarah Metcalf and C’Yenna Jaynes, two games created in Scratch by CyNai Jaynes and Kaitlyn Fintak, and text-based role playing games. Seven year old Autumn Johns wrote the story for game using a pre-written PythonTM template, while 15 year-old Samantha Nicholson a game with 3,000 lines of batch script code.
Learning to code introduces a new form of communication, similar to learning how to read or write, and introducing the concepts at an early age helps to build a foundation for more advanced programming languages later in life. Utilizing text-based program, such as PythonTM, or a visual programming language, such as Scratch, can introduce girls to more advanced coding later in life.