Scouring the internet for something new and different for Najwa to experience in 2020, I came across this program called Boolean Girls. Basically, it’s a program for girls to expose them to computer programming, robotics, electronics and so on. They meet once a month and follow a structured and guided pathway from basic programming using Scratch to more complex projects as they learn new skills going through the program.
First impression: I’m impressed.
For starters a lot of the helpers were also young ladies, maybe 14 or 16 years old, who also went through the program. Young, they may seem, but highly knowledgeable and if anything else, confirmation that girls can excel in STEM. There are several tracks to follow but they all start with programming using Scratch. Najwa is already pretty familiar with Scratch, but each time she takes a class with someone new, she learns something new. Our litmus test is always asking if she wants to come back and it was a resounding yes.
The program meets in the Thinkabit Labs building near the West Falls Church Metro. It’s also where University of Virginia and Virginia Tech are housed for their students in the Northern Virginia area. So, rather than being in a stuffy basement of a library or repurposed empty space in an office building, this program is in an environment that screams learning environment for technology and engineering.
Needless to say we’ll be returning each month. And as usual I’ll be encouraging all the other daddies (and mommies) to consider enrolling their daughters into the Boolean Girls program and hope to see you all out there.