“What is a hack-a-thon?” you may be asking yourself. Well, in the descriptive words of Seth O’Bryan found on the promotional poster for the event:

Who: This event is free and open to any Harley student in grades 7-12; participants can have anywhere from zero coding knowledge to plenty of experience.  The event is hosted by the University of Rochester’s Women in Computing group.  We are looking for students who have an interest in learning, and possibly building skills to do future projects.

What:  A two-hour workshop with the Women in Computing (WIC) group from the University of Rochester on learning how to code through the MIT Scratch program and some informal conversation about studying computer science and general science in college.  You do not need any previous knowledge about coding to participate, but if you do know coding it will be a chance to share with others and to meet role models from the University of Rochester.  It will be a relaxed, welcoming, and educational environment.  Recent alumni Lily Frye and Sarah Kingsley will be there.

Why: Coding is becoming a part of many different facets of education and careers.  Also, technology that uses coding is intertwined through many parts of our lives.  

Obama’s State of the Union 2016, “In the Coming Years, we should build on that progress…offering every student the hands-on computer science and math class that make them job-ready on day one.”

Women in Computing mission:  Our mission is to bridge the gender gap in computer science at the University of Rochester…We are taking measures to increase the enrollment of females in computer science students through our multiple points of entry…other measures include regional outreach programs.  

 This initial dip into the world of coding and computer science had an amazing response! On a 70 degree Friday night, November 18th, some 35 Harley students joined the computing crew from the University of Rochester Women in Computing group for an introduction to coding, and overview of some of the STEM fields that those students are in, and some interactions with Harley alumni who are in similar fields. Several of the Harley faculty were there, and novices and those with more experience (think Minecraft…) made good connections and furthered their skills.

Be on the look out for more of these exciting events in the future!


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