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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
Anna joined The Memo as an editorial intern and is now a freelance contributor. She’s already been featured in The Sunday Times & The Telegraph. Watch this space. Follow her on Twitter @annaschav.