More than 50 female learners and their teachers from Olievenhoutbosch Secondary School were recently invited to attend a day of inspiration, technology and fun, hosted by GirlCode and RS Components South Africa.
Girlcode’s Zandile Mkwanazi (left) with Wesley Hood from RS Components SA.
These coding and STEM workshops are coordinated by GirlCode with a focus towards inspiring the next generation of coders, engineers and innovators. Zandile Keebine, co-founder of GirlCode, said it was amazing to see how much the girls enjoyed the workshop: “This will be the first event of many post lock-down. We have received great feedback from all in attendance, especially the enthusiastic young ladies from Olievenhoutbosch Secondary School.
“The reason we started these events was to create awareness and to build a community around programming and engineering, amongst girls. We believe we have achieved this over the years and would like to continue our teaching programmes and workshops through similar initiatives. These events have become a platform for young females to be exposed to more than just computers. By partnering with RS South Africa and others over the years, we have been able to extend our reach and impact even more young women from across the country.”
RS Components, a market leader in the industrial and electronics space, showcased some of its education technology to the learners in the hopes of inspiring them to get involved with technology, coding and engineering. Marketing director RS Components SA, Mellisa Govender, said that she was in awe of the work being done by GirlCode: “This type of initiative is a wonderfully creative way of introducing the next generation to STEM. At RS we’re passionate about finding innovative ways of connecting young people with technology and exposing them to possible future careers. Currently there is a significant lack of female representation in the ICT sector and it is organisations like GirlCode that are starting to address the issue and change the status quo.”
Attendees had the opportunity to interact with senior coders, developers and engineering scholars. Professor Tania Hannekom, function head for the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering at the University of Pretoria had a pre-recorded message for the learners about breaking gender-based-boundaries and misconceptions. “Engineering knows no gender, race or class,” she said. “The only requirement to become an engineer is to have an incurable curiosity about the way the world around you works, and the passion to solve problems using science and technology.”
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