Cracking the code to get girls into science

 Manning Primary School Year 3 student Maddison Dunn (8), Curtin University volunteer Kira Molloy and Year 2 student Milla Meadows with their robots and devices for the Coding 4 Girls program. Picture: David Baylis
Manning Primary School Year 3 student Maddison Dunn (8), Curtin University volunteer Kira Molloy and Year 2 student Milla Meadows with their robots and devices for the Coding 4 Girls program. Picture: David Baylis

THE girls’ robotics program run by Manning Primary School and Curtin University is stronger than ever thanks to expert volunteers this year.

The Coding 4 Girls program aims to encourage girls to consider careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields by teaching basic block coding for robots.

Curtin University volunteer Kira Molloy said it was good for the Year 2 and 3 girls to see role models in fields where females were under-represented.

“This semester, I wanted to give them a breadth of knowledge,” she said.

“It’s really encouraging for them to see what they want to do by giving them a taste in robotics.”

This semester’s class of Manning Primary School Year 2 and 3 students with Curtin University volunteers in the Coding 4 Girls program. Picture: David Baylis

The Sorrento resident said she was inspired by her own Stem opportunities, including visiting Silicon Valley and winning the Next Tech Girl Superhero competition in Year 10.

“I was so lucky to have those opportunities; having this program at a young age could put them on the right path,” she said.

Manning Primary School teacher Elle France said 18 girls took part in the program this semester with the help of computing and engineering students.

“This semester we’ve been more organised and structured,” she said.

“The volunteers were experts in their chosen robot.”

Mrs France said the program started three years ago after she noticed girls were more reluctant to continue with maths and science.

“We didn’t want girls who were au fait with it, we wanted to get those who were curious about it,” she said.