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Smithville High School is taking steps to enhance coding education, for its students with a focus on engaging students through their newly established club called ‘Girls Who Code’. Under the guidance of Mary Castello this initiative aims to inspire students to explore programming in an environment.

Mary Castello, the supervisor of the club envisions its impact extending beyond the school itself. She strongly believes that coding and technology literacy are essential for everyone. Her goal is to raise awareness about coding in communities, schools and online platforms. Additionally she emphasizes the importance of corporations investing in staff education for these skills.

Castellos journey began in 2019 with a class size of ten students. However over the five years it has expanded significantly with the introduction of courses such as computer science coding and cybersecurity. The enrollment numbers have seen an increase to growing interest in fields like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

For students like Zee Liittle Neuhaus high school has become an opportunity to discover their potential. Zee found her passion for coding during an IT class. This has fueled her ambition to pursue a career, in computer science.
She eagerly participated in coding projects and competitions aiming to gain experience alongside her theoretical knowledge.

The ‘Girls Who Code’ club plays a role, in empowering girls and breaking the dominance of males in the field. This has resulted in inclusivity as male students have become more familiar with seeing their female peers excel in coding. As a result teachers, parents and local businesses have also been influenced.

Sara Perryman, a member of the club highlighted the significance of representation in technology and STEM fields. She stressed that everyone should have opportunities regardless of gender. In addition to advocating for gender diversity in tech Perryman emphasized the importance of providing mentorship and guidance to women.

She called for workshops, seminars and networking events specifically designed for women in technology. She firmly believes that these initiatives can offer the resources for girls to thrive in their chosen STEM fields. Perryman envisions an industry where both men and women are equally represented leading to success.

One major advantage of this program is its ability to prepare students for careers. In addition to gaining experience and industry certifications being part of the ‘Girls Who Code’ club helps develop transferable skills such, as teamwork, problem solving and communication.
The curriculum is regularly updated to align with the industry standards ensuring that students are well prepared for their chosen fields.

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