Young women often do not see computer science as a valid career choice, because of a lack of role models and prevalent gender stereotypes, resulting in only around 12% of computer science students at EPFL being women.
GirlsCoding was created at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, in Switzerland, by a group of graduate students at the Audiovisual Communications Lab. As more people joined, we became a group of PhD students, engineers, and teachers, all spread over several countries. Our goal is to motivate kids -- and especially girls -- to learn about computer science by sparking their curiosity and engaging their creativity through a series of hands-on workshops.
In each of our workshops, we take a group of 9-16 years old kids on a journey of discovery, to find out what computer science is, how computers think, and what the life of a coder is like. The kids get initiated in computational thinking, through interconnected unplugged activities and coding exercises. The latter range from simple games in Scratch to multi-screen mobile apps, but our focus is always on engaging the kids' creativity to create their own variations of the algorithms.