The Girl Scouts recently added a new skill set to their rooster this week. The organization dedicated to helping young girls develop confidence held their very first video game programming course at NYSCI.
The Girl Scout Leadership Institute wants to encourage more girls to pursue careers in tech centered fields in the male-dominated areas that we often refer to as STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) based.
“Fields that requires knowledge based in STEM areas are traditionally occupied by men, and in addition to the training these workshops provide, girls will be building the confidence they’ll need to pursue the jobs they want,” commented Barbara Murphy-Warrington, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York.
From Cookies to Programming Code
For the program 25 girls ranging in age from 13 to 16 years old were selected from the five distinct boroughs of New York City. During the 7-day seminar the young ladies practiced different exercises. The various tasks required the girls to design people and structures to build their own 3D virtual world. The programming techniques used were very similar to the popular gaming website known as Second Life.
The students were able to create dream or nightmare scenarios for their 3D virtual world. They also were instructed to form a world that could portray their Girl Scout experience, which included a wide spectrum of theme options from friendship to women’s rights.
“It’s kind of fun actually,” said 15 year old, Catherine Nolty, of Flushing New York.
In Catherine’s virtual world, she constructed a Girl Scouts building where here characters can do a variety of things from selling cookies to protecting the environment. She had zero experience in programming prior to the course. Now, Catherine has learned a new skill that will help her later on in life.