Coding Girls Programs Inspire and Empower Young Women Across Southern Italy

November 14 – 20, 2019

This edition of Coding Girls – the national STEM education program sponsored by the U.S. Mission to Italy and Rome-based NGO Fondazione Mondo Digitale, in collaboration with Microsoft Italy – doubled last year’s numbers, expanding to 14 cities.  Reaching 10,000 young Italians, Coding Girls imparted key skills for future employment along with demonstrating that coding welcomes all backgrounds and benefits from diversity.  From November 14-20, programs were held in the southern cities of Salerno, Naples, Bari, Palermo, Reggio Calabria.

Workshops were held in various high schools, and on the day of the hackathon the students collaborated using a free software called Scratch provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT.)  This year, the theme of the competition was different in every city.

On November 16, 100 young women organized into 26 teams from eight high schools in Naples. U.S. coach Emily Bradford, Independent Writer and Software Developer based in Silicon Valley led the event at Federico II’s Apple Developer Academy.

“Close the gender gap, enhance talent and leadership skills of young women, let female students develop new technological skills: this is why the U.S. Embassy and Consulates sponsor Coding Girls”, said PAO Karen Schinnerer during her welcome remarks.

On November 18, five high schools were involved in Palermo at the University of Palermo, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.  The 70 young students were led by U.S. coach Anthonette Peña, National Board Certified Teacher and STEM Teacher Lead and their theme was “If I had a Time Machine…”