Thursday, 27 April 2017 12:30

Girl Geek Academy launching ‘MissMakesCode’ programme for schoolgirls

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The Girl Geek Academy is set to launch the next phase of its #MissMakesCode teacher training programme and coding curriculum to target girls aged five to eight.

The next phase of the Australian program, part of the Girl Geek Academy global movement encouraging women to learn technology, create start-ups and build more of the Internet, will be  officially launched on Friday at a sold-out coding workshop taking place at Custom’s House in Sydney.

The event, in partnership with leading female film festival, For Films Sake, will see local primary school girls learn to code and build a game in a day, and marks International Girls in ICT Day.

Created by teachers, for teachers, the #MissMakesCode programme is delivered through specialist teacher training bootcamps where primary school teachers, teacher librarians and parents of five- to eight-year-old girls are provided with the framework to deliver fun and engaging workshops.

Under the programme, educators learn how to code their own game, just as their students would, followed by practical examples and resources to help them roll the programme out in their school.

The #MissMakesCode is now open for teacher sign-ups via its website and the first teacher training workshop will take place in Melbourne on 27 July.

Girl Geek Academy chief executive Sarah Moran says the academy strongly advocates for the upskilling of teachers to boost their own career trajectory and increase the reach of the workshops – and ultimately, the number of girls pursuing STEAM careers by adding the art and design element to the traditional STEM focus.

“We’re pumped to announce that #MissMakesCodes is back for another year and we encourage primary teachers across Australia to join us for the upcoming teacher training workshops starting in July or to register for our online bootcamps.

“#MissMakesCode is an important initiative in our bid to help increase the numbers of women in future IT careers and diversify IT roles for women. It’s critical that we engage girls in technology from the age of five, so that it can become a native skill like reading and writing.

“We know that it’s easier to engage girls in technology before they have been exposed to any gender bias, as research shows that from the age of six, girls already have gendered beliefs about intelligence and they’re more likely to avoid games meant for really, really smart children.”

Earlier this week, Girl Geek Academy teamed up with .au wholesale provider AusRegistry to run a coding workshop at Queen of Peace primary school in Altona Meadows, Melbourne.

Maggie Whitnall, senior client services manager at AusRegistry, said: “Increasing diversity in the technology industry is a cause we’re very passionate about, to ensure we’re creating the best possible workplaces that generate the best possible outcomes by including a true mix of voices and experiences.

“It’s fantastic to mark Girls in ICT Day with such a valuable programme as the #MissMakesCode workshop and to see young girls engaging with technology in a fun and creative way. Hopefully it’s inspired some of the coders of tomorrow.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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