Coding Camp for Girls

Intel initiated and sponsored a coding camp that helped girls gain the confidence that they needed to pursue a career in computing.

Did you know that 74% of girls express interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), but only 0.3% choose computer science as a major?1Furthermore, the share of bachelor’s degrees awarded to women in computer sciences has actually declined by 10% since 2000.2

Intel initiated and sponsored a coding camp that helped girls in Thailand gain the confidence they needed to pursue a career in computing. The camp is one of many ways that Intel collaborates with agencies around the world to inspire girls and women to create—not just consume—technology.  

I want to walk past someone on the street and see that they are using my apps. That’s success for me.

“Wow—women are also capable of doing this kind of thing!” exclaimed a young student who attended a Mobile Application Coding Camp for Girls in Thailand. Like many of the 100 girls who participated, she had an interest in computer programming, but before the camp had difficulty envisioning herself someday working in a technology field.

At the camp, sponsored by Intel and Thailand’s National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC), attendees learned about basic concepts of app design and coding—including analysis of user interface, interaction, and experience on mobile devices. They also worked together to brainstorm and present mobile app designs that address real-world needs.

More importantly, they met women who are either studying or working in technology fields—women like Duangrat Gansawat, an image technology researcher at NECTEC. Gansawat says, “Meeting me, as well as the female engineering university students who served as camp assistants, helped give the girls confidence that they, too, could pursue a career in computing.”

One such girl is Thanjira Sukkree, who had been involved in several computer classes and activities prior to participating in the camp. “I never got tired of doing this kind of thing,” she says. “I knew I could do [programming] well.” But, she adds, “My parents wanted me to study medicine. They were worried when I spent too much time with my computer, and none of the girls in my class wanted to study computer engineering. My family is very important to me, as well as my friends. I was not confident at all about what [career] to choose.”

From the camp, I got to hear from people who chose to spend their lives in the field of computers,” she continues. “I got a better picture of how the work is done. Now it’s more tangible and I am more confident that I want to do this kind of work in the future.

 

So confident, in fact, that she will enter Kasetsart University to study computer engineering.   

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1https://www.ncwit.org/resources/girls-it-facts
2http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind14/index.cfm/chapter-2/c2s2.htm#s2-2