Girls Who Code is a national non-profit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology. It’s leading the movement to inspire, educate and equip girls with computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. The Reading Public Library is excited to offer a Girls Who Code Club at the library during the school year.
What is it?
The library’s Girls Who Code Club is a free program to teach girls in 6th-12th grades computer programming and coding, stimulate interest in the STEM field and careers, and build useful skills and confidence. To learn more about the curriculum, visit the Girls Who Code Clubs page. The club meets weekly for 2 hours during the school year from October – May.
Who can join?
Girls in grades 6 through 12 are welcome in the club by enrollment only. The club has limited spaces and acceptance will be based on a lottery if there are more applicants than spaces. Preference is given to Reading residents. As a condition of acceptance, girls are expected to attend 80% of meetings during the school year. Please do not apply if you are unable to attend regularly.
When will the program start? How often does it meet, etc.?
In general, the club meets weekly for 2 hours on Saturdays @ 9:30-11:30 AM during the school year from October – May. An information session, for those wanting to learn more, will be offered each fall in September prior to the club starting and will be followed by an open period for online applications to be submitted. Check back here for updates.
How do I apply?
Applications are accepted each fall online. Participants will be selected by lottery if more apply than spaces available. Check back here for updates.
Do I need to bring anything, have coding experience, etc.?
No! All instruction is provided for free, laptops will be provided, and all levels of coding experience are welcome! Want to learn more about coding in your own time? Check out our Coding Resources for Teens.
Who are the instructors?
- Geoffrey Coram, Volunteer Facilitator: I earned my PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT. I've been "coding" for Analog Devices since graduation. I love tinkering with and fixing technology, and I built a 3-D printer from a Kickstarter kit.
- Charlie Dagli, Volunteer Facilitator: I work as a researcher at MIT Lincoln Laboratory where I use code every day to build systems to help solve important national problems. I learned to code while doing my Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois. Outside of work time, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, playing golf and learning harmonica!
- Katie Gessler, Volunteer Facilitator: I am a mechanical engineer, currently working at Raytheon designing electronic equipment. I earned my B.S. in mechanical engineering from University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). My first foray into programming was designing and programming LEGO robots to navigate a course in an introductory engineering class. I had so much fun, I changed my major to engineering pretty much on the spot. In my free time, I enjoy reading, baking, and running.
- Carrie Gray, Volunteer Facilitator: I studied Nuclear Engineering on the way to becoming a high school physics teacher, and then learned how to code while building a website for Boston Public School teachers to use to analyze students' MCAS scores. For the past few years I've enjoyed coaching Reading First Lego League teams and now look forward to helping with Reading's inaugural Girls Who Code club.
- Matthew Gray, Volunteer Facilitator: I am an Engineering Director at Google where I work on Google Search. I love coding and solving problems with code, ranging from mapping the stars (I studied physics at MIT) to network security (at a startup) to helping Google answer your questions. Outside of coding I enjoy photography, spending time with my family and playing board games.
- Pooya Khorrami, Volunteer Facilitator: I first learned coding when I was in high school and continued to do it as a graduate student in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois. Now, I code almost every day as a researcher at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. In my spare time, I like to take photographs, watch movies, and play tennis.
- Jennifer Melot, Volunteer Facilitator: I learned to code in high school and while I was a student at MIT double majoring in computer science and linguistics. I love using programming to build systems that help people (especially web applications!). I currently do my coding in the Human Language Technology group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Outside of work, I enjoy gardening, anything related to bicycles, playing my violin with people, and… doing more coding!
- RMHS Robotics Team Members, Volunteer Mentors: Talented coders from the Reading Memorial High School's Robotics Team, the Robockets, volunteer their time and coding experience to mentor the club's participants throughout the year.
Renee Smith, Library Advisor: I am a Teen Services Librarian at Reading Public Library where I organize programs and resources for teens. I'm so excited to bring a Girls Who Code club to the Reading community and can't wait to see what the coders create.
Questions? Want to learn more?
- GWC Site: www.girlswhocode.com
- GWC Facebook: Facebook.com/GirlsWhoCode
- GWC Twitter: @GirlsWhoCode
- Learn more about coding or gain experience with our Coding Resources for Teens.
Please direct questions about Reading Public Library’s Girls Who Code Club to Renee Smith, Teen Services Librarian, at rdgteen(at)noblenet.org or call 781-942-6703.