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Female undergraduate students inspired by coding at MSE workshop

Female undergraduate students from the University of Melbourne stepped into the world of coding at an Introduction to Programming Workshop this week. Experimenting with a range of programming tools and activities, students were challenged to design their own animations, apps and code.

“I enjoyed the opportunity to meet other female undergraduates who were interested in this area, no matter what they were studying. It was fun to gain practical experience in different areas, from working with robots to using JavaScript,” said Bachelor of Arts student Danielle Croci.

“Having a taster for these activities allowed me to get an idea of what working in this field involves, an experience I probably wouldn’t have otherwise had!”

The program, designed in collaboration with Google, introduced coding to female students in a highly accessible and hands-on environment. Students from disciplines as diverse as Arts, Commerce and Science discovered how to code the School’s NAO robots and received a unique insight into the day-to-day life of a computer science industry professional.

“Getting to work on the basics of programming was a great way to meet new people and learn new things. Learning about HTML, Python and JavaScript was relevant to everyday life a lot of fun to do,” said Bachelor Arts student Anna Smith.

The inspiration behind the program stems from the under-representation of women within the computer science industry, where there is a large discrepancy between the number male and female professionals.

“The Melbourne School of Engineering and Google are keen to attract more young women to consider careers in ICT. Whilst equal numbers of female and male students study science at University, there is a significant under-representation of female students progressing into computer science, which flows to under-representation of women in ICT fields” said event organiser Kate Mulqueen from the Melbourne School of Engineering.

Female students interested in pursuing ICT can get in touch with Women in ICT, a society of female students who aim to inspire and support women become involved in IT.

 

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