Coding is for Girls (and Boys)

Photo supplied. Pictured is Laura Sisson.

Flashback to 2004, when Lauren Sisson arrived in her chemistry class to begin studies as an engineering major at UOIT in Oshawa to find only 5 of the 150 students were female.  Maybe it was a sign, as the following year she switched to the female-dominated nursing program, eventually working as an RN for almost a decade.  Last year she went back to school to study math and computer science at another university to find that not much had changed in the student demographic: less than 20% of her classmates were female.  Believing this reluctance of women to pursue studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs was due to nurture rather than nature, Lauren embarked on a mission to build confidence and fill in the gaps in young girls by offering Coding classes for youngsters.  Her focus is on teaching girls and women who remain significantly under-represented in tech and engineering fields. Not to discriminate, she is also gauging interest in the course from boys. Her goal is to make Cavan-Monaghan the next Tech Hub.

What will participants learn?  Coding is the process of transforming ideas, solutions and instructions into language that a computer can understand.  Basically, coding allows people to talk to computers.  Learning to program helps students develop problem-solving skills, encouraging rational thought as well as creativity.

Participants will learn programming languages working on fun, collaborative projects.  They might design their own website, create a video game, and even build their own coding computer.  The classes will appeal to those who love solving puzzles, drawing and playing video games.  A laptop is required.  To learn more about the programs on offer, visit the website at

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