Local chapter of national organization builds wall of ideas in first year

Regina McMenomy

Regina McMenomy, an English instructor at Washington State University Vancouver, is facilitating a new chapter of Girls Who Code, a national organization whose mission is to provide computer science instruction to young women and girls through clubs, classes and online programs.

McMenomy isn’t a coder herself. That’s part of the point of Girls Who Code, she said. She’ll be learning along with the group how to write computer-generated music, develop games or design websites. It all depends on their interests.

“The agency is entirely theirs,” she said.

Emma Anderson, 12, and Ivy Isch, 11, are friends who attend Discovery Middle School. The pair huddled around a computer, experimenting with EarSketch, a program that teaches Python and JavaScript through the creation of music.

Emma enjoys learning code in a room of all girls, she said. It’s important that girls don’t “grow up thinking only guys can do” programming.

The girls, who meet once a week on Wednesdays, will over the next 14 weeks develop a virtual murder mystery using a variety of code and programming skills.

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The Columbian