Career & Education

Summer of code

Sunday, July 23, 2017

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Some 30 young girls from six different primary schools in Kingston & St Andrew have been spending their summer learning to write computer programs and studying animation.

In a coding camp sponsored by Seprod Foundation, the girls, aged eight to 11, have been programming mini drones, designing, building and programming autonomous robots, and making their own video games.

“ It was an awesome experience of creating games of my own,” remarked Brianna Bolt of Meadowbrook Preparatory.

“I learnt something about friendship,” said Shamara Stewart of ClanCarthy Primary.

According to Seprod — which is known for Jamaican Girls Coding, an initiative to teach girls to write computer programs and encourage them to pursue ICT careers — the two-week camp provides a playful introduction to the basics of computer science, teaching the girls about commands, functions, loops, conditional statements and variables, while developing their problem-solving and logic skills. It also fosters a spirit of teamwork as the girls work in pairs.

The camp was executed using the Young Coders course at Halls of Learning. It introduced them to block-based (using graphics/icons) and text-based (using words/phrases) coding.

“The girls are enjoying the camp. They are thinking critically, and they are building their problem-solving skills, while having fun,” Seprod Foundation coordinator Shanoya Edwards said.

The foundation has also sponsored three girls to attend the Edna Manley animation camp this month.

The programme teaches children how to manipulate their ideas through the traditional 2D animation processes and gain an understanding of their relationship to 3D animation.

The student-centred programme provides an opportunity for the engagement of young minds in developing an understanding of the creation of animated characters and objects, while also exposing them to the associated career pathways, Seprod said.

“The camp is a part of Seprod Foundation's continued efforts to inspire, educate and empower young women within the Jamaican Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) sector,” Seprod Foundation coordinator Shanoya Edwards told the Jamaica Observer.

“We believe that these investments in the human capital of Jamaica will not only inspire more careers in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics, but will also equip Jamaica for a more rewarding future,” she added.

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