Austin teacher launches Girls Who Code club

Harmony high school girls are taking their futures by the keystrokes this school year with the help of their computer science teacher Suzan Dalgic and a new after-school club, Girls Who Code.

The group is open to girls in grades eighth through eleventh and lead by Dalgic, the computer science department chair for Harmony Science Academy -- Pflugerville. The club is designed to increase the number of girls entering STEM careers and will meet every Thursday.

Dalgic decided to start a girls coding club because only boys joined the other computer science associations she's lead.

“I love technology, programming, and I thought maybe girls would feel more comfortable if they believe it is a club specifically offered to them, and they will love it too,” Dalgic said.

Two of Dalgic’s juniors at the North Austin campus, Vanessa V. and Maria R., will volunteer at the club after attending a selective 7-week summer coding immersion program with IBM. Dalgic said she hopes the girls will continue the skills learned during the program where they heard from female engineers and entrepreneurs, attended field trips to different tech companies, and participated in workshops.

“The most important thing I learned was that making mistakes is important and need to happen so that you may grow from them,” said Vanessa.

Although Vanessa and Maria will no longer be eligible for the program this summer as they are going into their senior year, they will continue to support Girls Who Code by volunteering as teaching assistants for the GWC club on their campus.

“In order to reach success we need to help each other out and lift up others too,” Maria said.

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