Medford Girl Scouts deeply appreciates the special partnership it has with the Tufts Girls of Code. Founded in 2016 by Dr. Laney Strange, a professor in the Department of Computer Science at Tufts University, the group brings together female computer science students to hold hands-on coding workshops for girls. Their goal is to “create a welcoming environment for girls and other individuals who are frequently underrepresented in computer science.” The Tufts students are fantastic mentors who show Medford Girl Scouts that coding is fun and something everyone can do.
Held in the computer science labs at Tufts, the workshops are free and open to all girls ages 10 and older and, each year, the Tufts Girls of Code give priority registration to Medford Girl Scouts. Recent workshop topics have included:
- Programming games in the Python computer language
- Using the language Alice to create 3D animations
- Creating websites from scratch by coding in HTML and CSS
“It’s a really fun program to take because I’m learning a lot of new things that I can use later in life. Everyone that is teaching is patient and helps out when you need help with something.” – Cadence McPherson, Junior Girl Scout
““I really enjoyed it. They provided a positive environment and taught me things about coding that I hadn’t learned anywhere else. They made coding fun!” – Claire Gingo, Junior Girl Scout
Girls from the at least seven different Medford troops have jumped on the opportunity to attend the workshops. In addition to their general coding workshops, at the request of Medford Girl Scouts, the Tufts Girls of Code developed a special workshop just for Brownies who want to earn the Computer Expert badge. They held three Computer Expert workshops and each was filled to capacity. This was the first time the Tufts Girls of Code had led workshop for girls who were younger than 10 years old. The girls loved being in the lab, working on the computers, and seeing their work come alive on the screen.
“About half my troop participated in the Brownie Computer Expert workshop, and they all proudly showed their work at pickup time! It was such a gift to have this event. The young women leading it were great role models, and I think it is so important for our girls to see a wide range of leaders in addition to their own troop leader.” – Jane Hamel, Leader, Brownie Troop 72096
Tufts Girls of Code has a special mission to “spark engagement and interest in computer science.” They strive, and succeed, in creating a warm and welcoming environment in which all girls get to code their own creations, and then play the games, or watch the animations, that they bring to life through their code.
Thank you to Dr. Laney Strange and the Tufts Girls of Code for expanding Medford Girl Scouts interest in STEM and coding!
About the Award:
The Outstanding Service Unit Partner recognizes a partnership that is instrumental in expanding program at the Girl Scout Service Unit level. In Girl Scouts, a Service Unit is a team of volunteers who organize and support Girl Scout programming in a particular community or region (such as the City of Medford.) A program partner supporting a Service Unit has a direct impact on the local community which gives girls the tools they need to be successful leaders in today’s world, shows girls future career possibilities and supports one or more of the pillars of Girl Scouting (Entrepreneurship, STEM, Outdoors and Life Skills).
The award was presented to Dr. Laney Strange by Lu-Ann Souza (Manager, Program Partnerships & Member Benefits) and Jennifer Duczkowski (Director, Girl Program and Partnerships) at Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts’s first Program Partner Brunch on June 16, 2018 at Camp Cedar Hill.