Computing At School North West Manchester Regional Centre hosted a Girls into Computing event at The University of Manchester on16th March 2016.
60 year 8/9 girls, 10 North West schools with 12 members of staff joined us for this inspirational and engaging day filled with talks, tours, dance and workshops.
The aim of the day was to broaden the horizons of the girls and to consider the opportunities that Computer Science can offer - not just sitting at a keyboard!
First up was an active workshop using dance to teach computational thinking with Dawn Hewitson. Despite some technical issues it was a great way to start the day with the girls chatting and thinking about dance through a computer scientists eyes using iteration and functions.
The girls were able to choose what workshop they would like to take part in and most of the girls were able to join their first choice. Although as one pupils stated "It's just to hard to choose as I want to do them all!". After an hours introduction to the programming languages of their workshop it was time for lunch and with help of university ambassadors an informative tour of the campus. The size of the university certainly came as a surprise to many of the girls and a much needed sit down was in order while having the opportunity to listen in awe to STEM Ambassador and Software Engineer Nadia Johnson (Thales UK
) tell the story of her journey to becoming a software engineer.
Then to the bulk of the afternoon where the girls were to create something to take home with them. The atmosphere was electric as the girls developed their programming and creative skills with Codebugs (Claire Garside), App Inventor (Jo Hodge), Sonic Pi (Sarah Zaman) and Adafruit Wearable Technology (Donna Rawlings).
The girls were amazing! they quickly picked up the programming strategies, showed patience when things didn't go quite right, excellent team work and communication which led to some brilliant projects.
As the day drew to a close the overall consensus was that we all wanted to do it all over again!
We had brilliant support from The University of Manchester Ambassadors and Loreto VIth form college volunteers - Thank you!
It just leaves us to thank all the teachers and pupils for making our #CASgirls event such a success!