Ada Lovelace Day

Norway’s Ada Lovelace Day celebration for girls ‘spreads like wildfire’

By Anna Schaverien 10 October 2017
Summary

From the first computer programmer to the female coders of the future.

More than 300 Norwegian girls packed out Oslo’s public library for a day of coding, problem-solving and programming.

Girls were taught coding, product design, and music production.

The room full of nine to ten-year-old girls were taught the basics of coding, music production, and product development – all in an effort to spark their interest in a career in tech.

The activities were organised as part of Oslo Innovation Week and happened just in time to honour the world’s first computer programmer on Ada Lovelace Day.

Oslo's National Library hosted more than 300 nine and ten-year-olds for Girl Tech Fest.

Since its inaugural event three years ago, Girl Tech Fest has expanded to 10 Norwegian cities, and this year saw 1,300 girls take part across the country.

“The event has spread like wildfire. It’s important to us to do something concrete to get girls interested in STEM,” Heidi Austlid, CEO of ICT Norway, told The Memo.

 

More than 1,300 girls participated this year, across 10 Norwegian cities.

The Technology Network for Women (TENK), the ODA network, ICT Norway, the National Library, and Norway’s Girls Code joined together to organise this growing event.

“The young girls have proved their fascination and enthusiasm for technology and told us that it was the best day of their entire school year,” said Isabelle Ringnes, co-founder of TENK and Girls Code.

Wozniak's school will offer programmes to get young people interested in STEAM careers. Image: Gorm K. Gaare/Oslo Innovation Week

DJs from Norwegian record company KOSO Music Production taught the girls how to beatmatch and programme a beat.

They learned the basics of product design by sketching, storyboarding and modelling prototypes.

Some of the girls said it was their favourite day of the school year.

And they played with the BBC’s Micro:bit programmable computers to learn how to create animations or a rock, paper, scissors game.

One of the girls said: “It was very fun! I’d like to do more of it in the future. You could make better phones or robots.”

Girl Tech Fest aims to get young girls interested in a career in technology.

Another had already benefited from Norway’s forward-looking attitude to girls and STEM.

“I could already code a little before I came – we had a 4th grade course where people came in and taught us.”

Girl Tech Fest made the National Library a hive of activity.

Find out more about Norway’s plans for coding in schools at ICT Norway.

All images are courtesy of Gorm K. Gaare/Oslo Innovation Week.