One of the most exciting parts of GirlTech is watching the club members engage as leaders in our school community. We had GirlTechies in classrooms from JK – Grade 8 last year, and they were role models, teaching assistants, coaches, and playmates. As their club leader it was exciting to hear about the impact of their influence from class teachers, as students responded to their leadership. Here are some ways GirlTechies made a difference in our school community last year, and will continue to show leadership this year:
- Assistant coach, Lego Robotics (First Lego League) Team, grades 7-8
- Teaching assistant, grade 7 Math & Science
- Programming gurus, Hour of Code week, grades 6-8
- Assistant instructor, Programming Club, grades 4-5
- Teaching assistant, grade 1 Math
- Divergent play instigators, block-building, JK-SK
Research shows that block play in early childhood has a positive effect on later achievement in Mathematics, which of course affects achievement in other STEM disciplines. Engaging our youngest community members in block play is as important as it is enjoyable, and it’s hard to say whether the GirlTechies or the kindergarteners had more fun! At the middle-school level, being a role-model for pre-teens and showing that Girls Do Math can motivate students at a critical stage of development to keep up with the subject; this in turn will keep doors open for future interests, courses of study, etc.
Logistically, it worked well to spend our Fall term focused on coding, allowing the club members to build their own skill base. They also participated in a leadership training workshop to identify their own unique strengths as leaders, which gave them confidence when it was time to engage with the community. Winter and Spring terms were spent focused more on leadership, with less active coding meetings. I was proud of their success and influence last school year and look forward to seeing the impact they will continue to have this year, and in the long-term.
Want to know why I believe leadership is a key component to keeping girls in the techie world? Read the original post Announcing: GirlTech!
Want to know what kind of coding GirlTechies learned in 2014-15? Read GirlTech: Coding.