Wow, I cannot believe that seven weeks have passed already. It seems as though the Girls Who Code cohort just arrived at the 11 Times Square office, and on the evening of August 18, I had the pleasure to watch each of them graduate. As part of the ceremony, the girls had the opportunity to showcase their final projects to their parents and invited guests. It was an amazing evening. The best part was the surprise! Microsoft New York General Manager Laura Clayton McDonnell was the Microsoft keynote speaker and she had the honor to announce to the 20 students and their three teachers that they each get to keep the Surface devices that they have been using over the course of the program. The news was received with such excitement! I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room, it was magical moment.
During the coders’ time at Microsoft they learned programming in Scratch, an introduction to Python, Object-Oriented Programming, Web Programming and Robotics. They used these learnings to work on their final projects that included:
- one website (called Poll Me) that provides useful information to new and young voters, such as voting locations and ways to register to vote
- one website / mobile application (called Organize Yourself) that allows students to organize their assignments and classes by adding tasks to specific categories they create
- one website (called Volunteens) that allows teenagers to search for volunteer opportunities, and it allows organizations to post volunteer opportunities that would be open to teens
- one website (called Study Drop) that provides a space for students to answer questions related to their school curriculum (ex. 3rd grade math questions), and for every 10 questions answered correctly some amount of water would be donated to communities in need
- one game that raises awareness about the street harassment that many women face every day in cities such as New York
- one game that gives new or expecting mothers’ tips on best practices for raising an infant
Some of the other projects that are highlights in the curriculum and that all the girls completed include:
- An animation of a city scene using Python
- Choreographing a robot dance by programming in Arduino
- Creating a portfolio website that shows off the work that each student did during their time at Girls Who Code
An impressive list of accomplishments for these young coders!
In addition to their coding activities this summer, the girls attended several field trips, including one right here in the office — a visit to the Microsoft Technology Center. They also spent the summer hearing from a variety of speakers and participating in several in-class workshops.
As we close the chapter on this year’s class, I wish all of our coders the absolute best on their bright futures that they all have ahead of them.
Congratulations to the Microsoft Girls Who Code Class of 2016! Keep Coding!
Tags: 11 Times Square, Arduino, Coding, Girls In STEM, Girls in Tech, Girls Who Code, Laura Clayton McDonnell, Microsoft, Microsoft District General Manager Laura Clayton McDonnell, Microsoft New York, Microsoft Technology Center, New York, NY, NYC, Python, Scratch, STEM, women in tech