As our Easter coding camp draws to a close, we are delighted with the commitment and enthusiasm shown by our first students to take part in our new initiative, to grow the next generation of coders through attentive and specific lessons.
Not only did we have our first students this week, but among them our first female coder. 13 year old, Ana had no previous experience of coding or computer programming languages before her ACA tuition but jumped straight into the course and came out with a better understanding of how the skill can improve her work within her preferred area of expertise; graphic design and art.
We look back at what she thought of the week and discover how coding can trigger new ways of thinking, through Ana's first-hand account.
Ana is a 13 year old girl with an interest in dancing, art and makeup. She very much enjoys gaming as many teenagers do, yet she has never considered coding, computer programming or the process behind making games come to life.
Ana began attending a week long beginners level course at Active Coding Academies after seeing a Facebook post surrounding the creation of your own game and graphic design. This creative aspect of coding sparked her interest, so she began the course with a curious mind.
Throughout the daily classes, Ana's curiosity morphed into deep interest and amazement and she soon realised how to develop her artistic side by adding coding and digital skills to her repertoire. In the beginning, Scratch was the language of choice as Ana learned how to write basic commands and enhance her critical thinking. During these particular lessons, she was thrilled as the freedom of innovation allowed her to exercise a creative flair.
“I feel like I’m actually creating a character in a game. It feels a lot like when I'm drawing, but now I can actually make my drawing come to life with code."
Following Scratch on the first day, the lessons moved onto a more challenging language in the form of Python. Although Ana was still keen to learn, she felt a little disheartened due to the technical side of Python and the fact she had always excelled at creative arts rather than mathematical logic. However, after constant encouragement from her teacher Marc, coupled with her progressing understanding of what she was doing, Ana's mindset began to change, leading her to enjoy finding ways to apply what she was learning to her art.
“I feel like a whole new world has been opened up for me. I'm very excited to invent new ways of combining what I’ve learned with my art.”
“I’ve always felt like numbers and technology are the sort of things boys do, for example, my cousin is much younger than me but he’s better at maths than I am. Although, after this week I feel that there’s nothing I can’t do if I think logically and apply my new knowledge. I'm delighted with my progress”
Ana came to ACA as a very reserved student, but held a curious interest in the unknown and aspects of technology that are considered gender specific. It had never occurred to her how much she could use technology and coding in her current interests.
After her week's long crash course where she received knowledge and gentle encouragement, a world of endless possibilities opened up for her. She learned that in the realm of technology, regardless of your gender or interests, there are no barriers. Something we are trying to deliver to each and every student.