Pilot Program for Girls in STEM Summer 2016

This short, seven-week program focused on providing a fun, educational experience for girls 6-12 every Tuesday for about two hours. Approximately 12 Hispanic and African-American girls attended each session and worked with one undergraduate volunteer from the California Institute of Technology. Most sessions were designed as short programming exercises which allowed the participants to make small creative changes to existing pieces of code. These changes would result in fun games that each girl could be proud of contributing to in her own unique way. It was fun for everyone to learn a fun fact or two about STEM fields, type a few words into an impressive technical page, and create a personalized computer program to play with.

One example piece of the curriculum was an activity in which the girls took a piece of code which realistically animates bouncing circles, learned about the RGB representation of colors, and very slightly altered the code to create animations in colors of their own choice. This activity is shown here. Girls could simply change the line indicated by the red box to personalize their animations.