During March Break from March 12th to the 16th, 40 girls attended the first Girls Learning Code camp in Toronto, a technology program aimed at getting girls interested in the tech industry by teaching them to create and influence technology as a means of self-expression, instead of merely consuming it.
The camp was created by the tech-savvy leaders of Ladies Learning Code, a not-for-profit Toronto group that provides women with a supportive space to comfortably hone their tech skills. It all started when Heather Payne, a business graduate who had built her own website, decided that she wanted to learn more about coding and tweeted her desire to start a Toronto group for women to build on their programming knowledge. The response was huge, and the group started hosting workshops last summer, which rapidly sold out.
Last year the group also started planning a youth program that would teach girls to change the world, one code at a time. And so Girls Learning Code was born. Hosted at the Mozilla Foundation community space on Adelaide Street West, the week-long program provided girls (ages 9 to 14) with hands-on knowledge in an engaging, fun atmosphere that encouraged confident skill development and exposed them to career opportunities in the tech world.
Camp fees covered resources like software and computers for each girl, and sponsorship from tech companies like the Mozilla Foundation supplied about 15 full and partial scholarships to girls who couldn’t have taken part otherwise.