What is #Codelikeagirl’s STEAM Workshop?


213036036_ashleygasperWords from Ashley Haynes-Gaspar, General Manager of GE Global Support and GE Digital Women’s Network Hub Leader

“As a kick-off to your Smart Zoo event, it is important to set context for the girls. At GE, we used the theme “Like A Girl” for o ur opening address. This was important to us, as throughout history,” like a girl” has meant certain things- often negative in connotation.

First, we showed the Always video with the same theme. We engaged the girls in a dialogue around what being a girl meant to them and reflect on the message of the video. We then framed our time together as an opportunity to rewrite that history and to make “like a girl” mean amazing things. We highlighted girls like Zora Ball, who as a first grader, became the world’s youngest video game programmer. We also highlighted teen girls making a difference in global access to eye care, using science to end world hunger.

It was a reminder that they are capable of amazing, life changing, world changing, amazing things! We closed our opening session with a reminder that there were a few guidelines for the day: Engage. Include others. Have fun. Be bold. “

Sparking young girls’ passion and confidence in STEAM through imagination-fueled, immersive experiences.

In 2016, only 26% of the computing workforce were women. Diversity and inclusion programs have a role to play for sure, but we need to start earlier! It isn’t just a hiring issue; it is a pipeline issue. 57% of bachelor degree recipients were women, but only 18% of CIS degrees were given to ladies. We get better by investing earlier, by sparking interest, and creating passion in young girls!

Research shows that girls lose interest in science and math, between grades 5-8. It also shows that if you engage girls during this critical time in fun and energizing ways, you increase their confidence and the pipeline of women into the field. Providing girls with supplemental STEAM exposure is purpose driven, heartfelt work for us.

We strive for #CodeLikeAGirl to be a fun way to learn STEAM. Fun has a positive effect on motivation levels, determining what we learn and how much we retain. Learning isn’t a one-off event. It requires repetition and dedication. If the experience is fun, learners will stay curious and keep coming back for more. Our goal is to build an engagement engine!

In 2015, we launched our first #CodeLikeAGirl day because GE parents wanted to share a little bit of the magic that they do when they come to work with their daughters.

Who is it for?

This workshop intended for middle school girls typically between the ages of 10 to 14. It is a one-day workshop that promotes STEAM learning through design thinking and engineering activities. It provides both theoretical and practical knowledge on design thinking and coding.

This workshop is designed to help the girls learn to work as a team. It teaches them design thinking, problem solving, creative application, critical thinking, and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, and math + ART) skill sets including hands on software coding.

Our advice to you

We are so thrilled that you are thinking of hosting your own #CodeLikeAGirl event. A few things that worked for us that we recommend to you:

Identify an overall lead – there are many supporting roles for a whole team of people, but it is essential that there is one point of contact for important decisions.

Give yourself time – keep in mind that you will be juggling parents, kids, volunteers, sponsors, etc. and they will all need to have enough time to plan accordingly!

Start with the basics – we all want an amazing event for the girls, but don’t overlook the fundamentals (venue, supplies for activities, volunteers)

Come #CodeLikeAGirl with us as we strive to provide opportunities for young women to get involved, get excited, and get confident!

Event in a Box

event_in_a_boxDownload and Unpack

  1. Click the link to download the zip locally. (You don’t need a Dropbox account, just click “Download”.)
  2. Unpack using an unzip utility on your computer.
  3. Read notes below to get started.

How is the Event In a Box structured for you?

eib_layoutQuick Start Guide

 We recommend that the event facilitator downloads and prints the quick start guide before beginning to plan the event. In it she/he will find:

  • What is #CodeLikeAGirl, why do we do it, and who do we do it for?
  • Our advice to you
  • What are the moving parts?
  • What is the timeframe?
  • Who are the parties involved?
  • Overall check-list

Ready to go

Printable resources for 

  • Ice-Breaker Facilitator
  • Design Facilitator
  • Engineering Facilitator