“Coding Girls”, Project Promoting STEM Studies and Women and Girls’ Empowerment
Rome, September 28, 2016
On September 28 the U.S. Embassy hosted the press conference of the third edition of Coding Girls, a project of the organized in collaboration by the U.S. Embassy, the Fondazione Mondo Digitale, and the support of Microsoft. The project promotes STEAM studies and women and girls’ empowerment.
The Coding Girl program, a week-long series of English-language coding workshops, started in 2014 with a pilot project, carried out in eight high schools in Rome. It engaged approximately 200 young women in training courses led by an American computer science engineer from “Girls Who Code”, a successful New York City-based initiative, with the goal of reducing the male-female gap in the management of technology.
The program grew to involve schools in Naples in 2015 and both Naples and Milan in 2016, with a renewed format that aims to expand the future reach of the project through “Train the Trainer” workshops. The 2016 edition involves four phases from May to November:
- A call for tutors from the IT departments of Milan, Naples, and Rome-based universities (completed in May);
- “Train the Trainer” Summer Camps in Milan, Naples, and Rome for the tutors (completed in July);
- Preparatory sessions run by the tutors at the schools where the final workshops will be conducted (to take place in October);
- The actual Coding Girls workshops run by a U.S. instructor, Emily Thomforde Code Educator and Science Technology Engineering Art and Mathematics (STEAM) Specialist, and 60 Italian tutors in the Milan, Naples, and Rome districts (November 14 to 23).
The week of workshops will close with three competitive hackathons (hacking marathons) involving all of the workshop participants from Milan, Naples, and Rome.