Girls Makers & Coders, an 8-week program, is about to head into its fourth week here in the Lab at Teen Central. The program is designed to provide an opportunity for young women, ages 12-18, to gain experience with hands-on projects that incorporate different skill sets, including design processes and computer coding. The focus of these projects is around “wearables” – clothing or accessories that are fabricated using technology or have computers or technological functions built in to their design. (A current exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts highlights the relevance and excitement coming out of this particular area of innovative design.) The program is being led by knowledgeable volunteers and 9 registered girls are participating.
Organizations such as Girls Who Code, Black Girls Code, and Change the Equation are bringing awareness, seeking solutions, and providing programs to address the gender and minority gap in STEM related fields. (For more information specifically about the gender gap, look here). It is our hope that the library can also be place where an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math can be sparked and explored. The library, as an informal learning center where people are encouraged delve into their interests, is perfectly situated for like-minded youth to meet and work together in a low-stress, fun environment all while gaining new skills to build upon in the future.
After working on smaller, individual projects that aim to build a foundation in concepts such as circuitry, and an introduction to computer code, participants will collaborate to design and create a larger interactive project with colorful lights (LEDs) controlled by sensors and code with a wearable microcontroller. Through this process participants will also be able to employ crucial 21st Century Skills by exercising their creativity, thinking critically, effectively communicating with their team, and successfully collaborating to complete their unique project.
When the program wraps up in the coming weeks, check back here and I’ll update with more info about their finished project!
Need a library card? Wondering how long you can borrow a book? Borrowing and Circulation information can be found here.
*”Ctrl+Z” is all about fearlessly exploring technology. Look here for info about teens, technology, and having fun with new media by Catherine, Teen Technology Coordinator at Teen Central, on the fourth Friday of every month.