Waco library teaches girls computer science, coding skills

By Kennedy Dendy | Broadcast Reporter

The East Waco Library hosts a weekly club called Girls Who Code that is designed to teach girls computer science skills in a fun, comfortable setting.

Jessica Emmett is the community services supervisor at the library, and she said she hopes that the coding club encourages young girls to explore the world of STEAM. STEAM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.

“We noticed that there was a lack of STEAM programming for teens that were offered,” Emmett said. “This is actually a national program. It’s an initiative nationwide to get more girls in STEAM careers, teach them those skills and get them excited about it.”

According to the National Girls Collaborative Project, women make up half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, but only 29 percent of the science and engineering workforce.

With such a low percentage of women in the computer science field, Emmett said clubs like this one can serve as inspiration to young girls interested in pursuing fields outside of what is considered typical for a woman.

“The nice thing about this self-paced program is that somebody can walk in for the first time and get started even if other people are working on farther on in the lessons,” Emmett said.

Girls Who Code meets at 4 p.m. every Wednesday at the East Waco Library. More information can be found at the Waco-McLennan County Library’s website.

“The goal is that they have fun in kind of a casual environment where they’re learning these coding skills,” Emmett said. “Hopefully, when they have the opportunity to learn those kind of things in a more structured environment, either in high school, college or on the job training, they feel really comfortable and confident with that.”