Overview

In this course, girls use Scratch, a block-based programming language, and Makey Makey, an electronic invention kit, to explore the fundamentals and creative power of computer science and physical computing. During Week One, girls build projects designed to teach core programming concepts like loops, variables, conditionals, and functions. In the afternoons they dive into the world of physical computing with Makey Makey, learning about circuits and creating devices that interact with the programs they code. In Week Two, girls design, build, and present a team project about a topic that matters to them.

Is This Course for Me?

This course is a great fit for you if:
You are new to computer science and programming

This program is for beginners! You don’t need any previous programming experience or expertise in math and science.

You like to be curious and creative

You will learn how computer science crosses with the arts, social science, design, and other fields.

You want to design and make things that interact with your code

In this program you will use Makey Makey to build a video game controller, interactive art piece or other creation that you and your friends can use to play the games, view the stories, or control the programs you write with Scratch. Makey Makey is an electronic invention kit that allows you to connect everyday objects to computer programs.

You want to impact the world around you

You will see how you can use computer science right now to make change.

You would like a “Girls First” environment

Campus is a safe and supportive environment for you and other girls to build confidence, bravery, and technical skills. Each day you will participate in team building activities to help you build new friendships and you will also learn about other women that are making or have had an impact in tech.

Course Syllabus

      • Programming Fundamentals: Girls learn and apply core programming concepts like variables, loops, conditionals, and functions to create animations, games, and applications with Scratch.
      • Physical Computing: Physical computing involves translating analog input (like a button press) to digital input (code) through software and hardware. Girls build input devices using everyday materials, then use Makey Makey to translate analog inputs to digital inputs that control software they write in Scratch.
      • Circuits: Girls learn to design and create simple circuits to build Makey Makey interface devices.
      • Debugging: All developers face bugs or errors in their code. Girls learn strategies and best practices for debugging in Scratch.
      • Prototyping & Testing: Girls learn design skills and practices to help them plan, build, test, and revise prototypes and products.
      • Project Management: Students learn and use industry best practices like scrum, Kanban boards, and stand-ups to organize, track, and manage their development and project work.
      • Bravery & Resilience: Learning to code is full of challenges. We help girls build a growth mindset, learn how to tackle new material, and understand the importance of making and learning from mistakes.

What Will I Learn?

By the end of the program, you will be able to:

  • Explain each of the GWC Core4 using both technical terminology and real-life analogies.
  • Use the Core4 in Scratch to solve a problem of your choice.
  • Use your creativity to design and build a controller or piece of interactive art for your Scratch project.
  • Build resilience, confidence, and bravery and connect computer science with social justice.
  • Identify various industries that make use of computer science.
  • Name various women leaders in the technical field, and explain their contribution to society.
  • Explain how computer science can affect your community.
  • Explain how you can be a strong ally to other girls in technology

What Will I Build?

In this Campus program, you will build projects in Scratch, like this game that teaches you about the scarcity and importance of water or these animations and games that teach players about strong women in history. You’ll also design and build a controller or interface device for your Scratch project. You might decide to build an instrument you can play, an interactive art piece or story (like this or this), or maybe a controller for a game.

What Will I Take Home?

At the end of the course, you will take home your Scratch projects, a Makey Makey kit and your individual Makey Makey interface devices. For example, Campus alumni, Jenna, Gianna and Alana built a Scratch game that encourages you to pick up trash called The Trash Platformer . The team said,  “The problem we were trying to solve is seen everywhere, people litter left and right, without even thinking twice about what they’re doing.” The game has multiple levels and custom music and art!

Sample Schedule

Every day of Campus will look a little different but we structure Campus to maximize learning, sisterhood, and fun! Week One of Campus is about building skills and practicing techniques, while Week Two focuses on building a capstone project that brings many of Week One’s lessons together.

A Typical Day in Campus

9:00 AM Girls arrive and get to work! The instructor will go over the plan for the day and lead a Sisterhood activity.

9:30 AM Students learn a core computer science concept through hands-on activities, instruction, reading, and coding.

10:30 AM Girls practice their new skill on a small, creative project, sometimes with a partner and sometimes on their own.

11:30 AM Break! Students move around and keep their brains fresh.

11:45 AM Students jump back into their project work.

12:30 PM Lunch! During this break, students relax and get to know each other. Groups can play games, go outside, or spend time alone for girls who like to recharge solo.

1:15 PM Women in Tech Spotlight! Students learn about a female role model working in the tech industry through videos, interviews, or articles.

1:30 PM Girls tackle another new computer science concept, or dive deeper on the morning’s work.

2:30 PM Mini-Break and Gallery Walk. Students explore what other girls are working on and share their accomplishments!

2:45 PM Students put the finishing touches on their project for the day.

3:30 PM Girls showcase their work, wrap up, and reflect on what they learned!

4:00 PM Class ends for the day.

Your Tuition Includes:

High-caliber Girls Who Code trained instructors

Access to our rigorous, project-based curriculum designed by experts for girls

Access to a laptop and all technology requirements

Your Scratch project code and interface devices built in week one

1 Makey Makey kit

Girls Who Code Swag, such as a T-shirt, water bottle, stickers, and more!

Girls Who Code Campus completion certificate

Access to the Girls Who Code alumni network, our alumni newsletter, and our internship platform, HireMe