Day 4, 5, and 6 of Girls Code the World: CSA Programming

Days 4 and 5 were followed by a restful weekend, and then back to work for Day 6 this past Monday. Days 4, 5, and 6 were filled with the perfect mixture of fun hands-on activities and information speakers.

On Day 4, our schedule followed as below:

9:00 AMMorning Meeting
9:30 AMEcosystem in a Sphere
10:30 AMSnack and Chat Time / Break
11:00 AMMaking Paper Chandeliers
11:40 AMClosing Ceremony

The Ecosystem in a Sphere Lesson consisted of a Dan&Darci Bright-Light Plant Terrarium Kit and pre-recorded video tutorial prepared by the founders, Sydney Gibbard and Mina Shokoufandeh. This lesson focuses on the cycle of life, including photosynthesis and cellular respiration. The girls had a blast following this tutorial and naming each of their plants at the end of the projects. Some of the results are seen below:

After the Ecosystem in a Sphere Lesson, the girls engaged in a Snack & Chat Time. We talked about what it is like to be a college student and some of their interests outside of school, such as soccer, basketball, and gymnastics. We then played a couple rounds of Hangman.

Next, we did the Making Paper Chandeliers Lesson, which requires only four common materials: paper, scissors, tape, and a pencil. This activity was done live on a camera with the girls on Zoom. This lesson fosters curiosity within the home and an understanding that STEM doesn’t have to complex! It can be done with simple materials found in the home. The girls asked clarifying questions as we went throughout the project, and they were all able to sucessfully build a paper chandelier, seen below:

This paper structure was so unique and simple that all of the girls begged for more things they could build on their own time. Mina and Sydney provided them with servel quick links to projects they can do at home, even without a MakerBox!

On Day 5, we followed this schedule:

9:00 AMMorning Meeting
9:30 AMWired In and WIST: College Students in Technology Panel
10:30 AMSnack and Chat Time / Break
11:00 AMWatch Hidden Figures
11:40 AMClosing Ceremony

Because it was a Friday, the schedule for the day was pretty laid back and interactive. The girls started off the day with a panel of female students in the College of IST (Information Sciences and Technology). These students below to one of two organizations at Penn State University: Wired In (an IST student org for minorities in techonology and programming) and WIST (women in IST).

This panel was very fun for the girls; they asked a lot of questions about what it is like to be a college student and what their day-to-day responsibilites are as a student in IST. The panelists also talked about their experiences as minorities in this field and how they overcame those obstacles.

After the panel, the girls took a quick snack break from one of the snack in the MakerBox and then reconvened to begin watching Hidden Figures, a movie about “three brilliant African-American women at NASA — Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson — who serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell) into orbit. The movie is a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world.”

The day ended with a recap of the week and prep for the upcoming week. The girls had a relaxing weekend with their families and returned on Monday ready for action.

On Day 6, we followed this schedule:

9:00 AMMorning Meeting
9:30 AMContinued Work on Scratch and
10:30 AMSnack and Chat Time / Break
11:00 AMClean Water Science Filtration Lesson
11:40 AMClosing Ceremony

To ease into the week, the girls had the option of either continuing work on or Sratch, two of the platforms used in the previous week. The girls worked independently for a little while and then met back together to discuss their projects. Some of the girls shared their screens to describe in detail to the group their thought process as they developed their code.

Some of the projects are displayed below. You can see how in just a short week, the girls have really advanced their understanding of coding and block-based programming.

After coding, the girls went on to work on the Clean Water Science Filtration Lesson. Using kits from Green Science, the girls followed their most complex pre-recorded video tutorial yet, made by Mina and Sydney, to complete this project successfully.

This project taught girls about the importance of water filtration in the real-world and how that process actually works. We watched as the girls looked at their projects in amazement, shocked at how well it worked. They begged to show the group their projects on Zoom, and all of the girls talked about their biggest obstacles in completing the project.

To finish the day, Mina and Sydney talked about the plans for the next day and recapped all of the material covered on Day 6.

Things are running great here at Girls Code the World!

One thought on “Day 4, 5, and 6 of Girls Code the World: CSA Programming

  1. What fun days for the girls! It seems like the program has the right mix between hands on activities, exposure to STEM leaders, and creative/social play time. I’m sure this isn’t easy to create such a learning experience online … but you’re doing it. Terrific work!

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