Girls Learning Code are workshops, camps and after school programs for 6 to 17 year old girls. Their programs are designed to help girls see technology in a whole new light – as a medium for self-expression, and as means for changing the world.

I signed my 10 yr old daughter and myself up for the “Image Editing and Animation” workshop which is designed for girls 8-13 yrs old. It ran from 10am – 4pm, lunch was provided on site, cost was $30 for the pair of us, and the event was BYOB (bring your own laptop).

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The workshop was on site at a tech company named Clio. Clio is a cloud-based law practice management software based out of Burnaby on Canada Way. In 2015 Clio was ranked among the fastest growing companies in all of North America on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™ list..

Workshop attendees sat in the main social hub of Clio‘s campus. Basically just off a huge open concept kitchen in an area that looked like a cross between an urban meeting area/cafe/wine bar. I noticed hand washing dishes at Clio is out of the question as they have 8 dishwashers on site. Now to mirror that in my own home. 🙂

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Also situated off the kitchen is a dedicated booth type eating area, foosball table, and gaming area.

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To introduce all the young women to each other and break the ice, the girls were asked to come together and play a game of Janga. Each Janga piece had a question. When a girl removed a Janga piece they were to answer the question written on it.

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The first half of the day was image editing and graphic design using Piklr, a browser based image editing software which has a similar feel as Adobe Photoshop. There were a high ratio of mentors vs. students floating around to answer questions from the girls as they worked within the program. Mentors included volunteers from the Girls Learning Code organization, the tech community, and employees of Clio such as software developers coming into work on their own time.

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A fresh and healthy hot lunch was served on site at noon, followed by a tour of the Clio work campus. The tour was unexpected, but was great to see and learn about. My ten year old daughter now thinks when she eventually enters the work force her place of employment will have a dedicated kitchen stocked with all meals & snacks, yoga room, nap room, private phone conversation booths, magazine lounge, jigsaw puzzle area, ping pong table room, on site naturopath & massage therapist, gaming lounge, foosball table, gym, and basketball court. Not to mention be able to bring her dog to work. I told her if she shoots for getting into the tech industry the odds of this will dramatically increase!

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All employees, including the CEO and COO, work stations are located amongst the open concept departments.

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The last half of the day was learning how to create simple animations using Scratch, a beginner level programming environment. Within the program the girls were asked to pick a character or two, change the background, and make it do something. At the end of the day their animations were uploaded and viewed by everyone together.

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So many learning opportunities today.

  • Learning opp #1 – Seeing first hand the inside of a tech company and chatting with some of their employees, especially Lauren Sanders  thank you for the great conversation regarding the Vancouver tech community, where it’s at, where it’s heading, type of education needed, roles within a tech company, etc.
  • Learning opp #2 – My first experience working within the editing and graphic design program Piklr and expanding my basic understanding of the program Scratch.
  • Learning opp #3 – I learned without a shadow of a doubt my daughter takes the advice from the mentors floating around with M-U-C-H more excitement and enthusiasm than her mothers advice.

Next time this mom will be flying solo attending a Ladies Learning Code workshop diving deeper into HTML & CSS. Perhaps will be tackling that in the summer.

Click here to learn more about the Ladies Learning Code organization, which includes Girls Learning Code and Kids Learning Code (co-ed). Click here to find a workshop in a city near you.

 

 

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