Durham camp aims to build girls’ interest in computer science


DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Building a website in a day is quite a feat, especially if you’re 12 years old.

But that’s what one group of girls in Durham learned Saturday at North Carolina Central University.

It was an event put on by a national program called “Black Girls Code.”

There were only female students allowed in the computer labs at NCCU’s Mary Townes Science Center.

Girls ages seven to 17 learned the skills they would need to create their own website.

Their reasons for taking the class may be a little different.

“I wanted to learn about technology a little bit more so that so I know what to do later on in life” Kyla Newkark said.

Alivia Collins said she wanted to “Build robots and speak to them so they can do what I want them to do.”

But the program’s goal for the girls is the same, to start them on a path for a career in technology.

“Women are overwhelmingly underrepresented in the tech space, and especially women of color are overwhelmingly underrepresented. And so we believe the creators of technology should reflect the consumers of technology,” said Reilly Ellis, a program coordinator from Black Girls Code.

Black Girls Code is a national nonprofit that is trying to build girls’ interest in computer science, especially young black girls.

Over the summer they’ll learn things like HTML and CSS coding, mobile app development, and website design. And instructors are making sure to slip in some other valuable lessons as well.

“Girls can do anything so it’s not just boys and everything like that, so it’s just like girls and everything. So just like do your best and you can like accomplish anything,” said student Torchea Bumpers.

Black Girls Code is hosting several more events this summer in Durham that are open to all girls ages seven to 17.

The program recently started its Raleigh-Durham chapter and could also use some new volunteers.

Find out more about summer events or how to get involved.

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