Black Girls CODE to teach girls to create games with code in day-long workshop
MIAMI, FL – The newly relaunched Miami chapter of Black Girls CODE hosted its first all-girls workshop on Saturday, June 25! The game development workshop was held at Florida Vocational Institute and was supported by AT&T as part of AT&T Aspire, the company’s signature philanthropic initiative to help students succeed in school and beyond. Girls ages seven to 17 were invited to attend the workshop. Participants who attended the workshop were introduced to animation and game design concepts utilizing SCRATCH, an interactive programming language that involves story-telling and visual approaches to coding. The workshop was open to girls of all experience levels who are interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) topics including mobile app design, robotics, and game development.
Together with AT&T, Black Girls CODE hopes to expose girls of color in South Florida to programs that lead to careers in technology and engineering. Black Girls CODE will fill a critical gap in the Miami tech ecosystem with program offerings with a singular and pointed focus on exposing underrepresented girls to key skills in leadership, technology, and social impact. Through Aspire, AT&T also supports Black Girls CODE chapters in the Dallas Metro area with similar programs and impact.
The Black Girls CODE work-shop provided girls an opportunity to be exposed to a career field in which there will be 1.1 million jobs created by the year 2024. The goal of the workshop was to increase interest of girls of color in STEM career fields. Women of color are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields especially in technology where only 3 percent of African American women and less than 1 percent of Latinas receive degrees in computer science.
“Given the proper foundation to develop their own future, women can become innovators in STEM fields,” says Sandy Thomas of AT&T Florida Community Network. “Empowering girls of color through exposure to computer science and technology in the digital space provides the foundation that is so critical to their successful future.”
Florida Vocational Institute (FVI) and New Horizons Computer Learning Center were the venue sponsors of the work-shop, and provided scholarships for girls wishing to attend.
“As a leading technology training partner of the ‘TechHire.Miami Initiative’, Florida Vocational Institute supports initiatives like Black Girls CODE, which work to show that all girls have the potential to become the programmers of tomorrow,” said Arnie Gurnin, FVI president. “We are proud to be part of the launch of a quarterly workshop program that is designed to re-duce the barriers to great IT careers and will continue to work to give minorities and wo-men a chance to become masters of their tech futures.”