Check Out Girls Who Code

Hank, Staff Writer

Trottier offers numerous great opportunities for students to try out new activities or develop an existing hobby both in-school and out-of-school. There are many RAP programs, ranging from skiing at Wachusett to learning how to start a business. However, at first glance, Trottier doesn’t seem to offer many programs for computer enthusiasts or people simply interested in technology.

That could not be less true. A lesser-known but extraordinary extracurricular activity is Girls Who Code. It takes place on Tuesday afternoons from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM in the library. Its principal goal is to increase the number of women in the male-dominated computer science industry. Girls Who Code is a unique opportunity for both complete beginners and amateurs to test their hand at software design and programming. Through a decidedly project-oriented paradigm of instruction, the people who participate explore computer science by working on their own group projects.

The participants initially had to choose between a game, an app, or a website. The majority of current participants chose to create an app. The goal of all the projects is to create resources to be used by new students coming to Trottier to help them with their transition and academic management. Ideas include: making an agenda, a grade-manager, and a freelance recruitment app.

A lot of tech interest in females is subdued early on. This is due in part to prior misconceptions and/ or lack of confidence. However, that is remedied by Girls Who Code and the use of’s App Lab. Unlike Scratch and other simple drag-and-drop sites, this supports both drag-and-drop and Javascript, which gives those who are ready an opportunity to challenge themselves and write real code. Despite their lack of prior experience with programming, the use of’s App Lab allows the participants to design, script, and assemble most of their projects independently. This multi-abstraction support is what sets AppLab apart from the rest and allows the girls to develop their app and turn their ideas into a reality.

Another substantial pro is that once they finish their projects, the girls have the ability to release their app to the outside world where real users can try out their creations. This provides even more incentive for them to put forth their best effort to create an enjoyable user experience.

Mrs. Scordato, who supervises the use of technology during the hour-and-a-half session, said, “In addition to developing some basic coding skills and an understanding of how it is used to develop apps, websites, and games, we want the girls … [to] come away with confidence in their … ability to use and build on the skills that they have gained.”

“This is the first time that anyone has organized a Girls Who Code group in this area.  I think we have learned a lot from the experience.” Mrs. Scordato commented. “This is not a scripted program.  It is very much open-ended, which can make the process a bit ‘messy.’ I think in the end … we will be able to take what we have learned from our experience and improve the program.”

Girls Who Code proves to be a vital and extremely helpful opportunity for newcomers to experiment and try their hand at computer science. Even if one may not be the most tech-literate person, it is still worth checking out.