CS for GS: Trinity Hall Junior Leads Girl Scouts in Computer Science Workshop
Tinton Falls, NJ – In January, 2017, Courtney Vadon, an 11th grade student at Trinity Hall, hosted CS for GS: Computer Science for Girl Scouts in Trinity Hall’s engineering lab. CS for GS was a four hour workshop broken up into two class days, for early elementary school girls in second grade, teaching the basics of coding. The first day of the class was completed entirely without computers. The girls learned how coding impacts daily lives and discussed what can be done with code. The second day of class the girls were introduced to algorithms in code using a maze-like instruction activity and a group dance game. The students’ final project challenged the girls to code Sphero robots to go through a maze similar to the one they “coded” with paper earlier in the workshop.
Vadon, who is completing her She++ fellowship through Stanford University, led the workshop with the assistance of some of her fellow classmates. All students at Trinity Hall must take four years of engineering in order to graduate.
“None of the girls knew what coding was before the class began, so it was really exciting for me to teach them about it,” said Vadon. “By the end of the two days, the girls were not only able to identify uses for coding in our everyday lives, but they were able to describe the basic principles of coding. I am happy I had the opportunity to expose the girls to this area of the STEM field, and I hope to continue to teach early elementary school girls about coding and computer science.”
“Motivated by the enthusiasm she developed for coding in STEM classes, Courtney created a program that was fun and accessible to introduce computer science to young learners,” said Nicole Sadowski, Trinity Hall STEM teacher. “The two day program allowed girls to explore new ideas and apply them to robots. The girls left realizing they could do more than just use an app or play a game – they were inspired to design it.”
Trinity Hall, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3), is an independent all-girls college preparatory high school, educating and empowering young women in the Catholic tradition. Trinity Hall’s core values of leadership, respect, perseverance and faith are foundational to their mission and work as educators. For more information about Trinity Hall, visit www.trinityhallnj.org.