There is a severe gender gap in the tech industry today. Only 1 in 5 graduates in computer science are women, and just 24% of those working in the tech industry are women. Girls Who Code is a national non-profit organization that’s working to close the gender gap by inspiring girls interested in computer science and technology. It hosts clubs all over the U.S. and works with over 40,000 girls in these clubs.

Here at Do Space we’ve had 20 girls in two teams working on projects since August. These girls range in age from 11 to 14 and come from all over the Omaha Metro area. As part of the Girls Who Code curriculum the girls use the coding skills they learn and create a project to benefit their community.

Each of our teams here at Do Space decided to create games that would solve a problem in their community. My team of girls decided they wanted to help kids their age make better choices in regards to what they considered problematic friendships. The other team of girls lead by Alexandra Millatmal and Bethany Alcamo built a game to help teach their peers about other cultures with a primary focus on the French revolution.

The projects have been all about teamwork. A couple of our game designers had this to say about the process of creating the games:

siobhan okeef
Girls Who Code has been working on making a “choose your own adventure game”. To do this we have split up into different groups. In my  group we are working on writing the storyline. We have been working on this for 3 days. Our assignment was to write two stories, each having a bad ending and a good ending. There were multiple things to do. Deciding who the characters were going to be and their stories and backstories was a process in itself and took a while. Our class had previously written up some character information for us to use, and we used a lot of their ideas and they ended up saving us a lot of time. Otherwise we all based our characters off people we knew, or just looked up a name and some characteristics and called it a character. The most difficult part of the project was figuring out the actual storyline. The reason this was so difficult was because we had to try to make the story and characters interesting, but we also had limited time to do it. Our method of doing this was making it up as we wrote. Most of the characters were our age, so for some of the story we imagined what we would do. The last part was writing up the story onto google slides, which is self explanatory. Overall this was a very fun and interesting experience and I am excited for our next assignment.  —Siobhan O’Keefe, 9th grade

For the story we basically brainstormed ideas on how the story is supposed to go, start, and end. First we saw other people’s stories and saw how they did it. Then we started brainstorming ideas for the story. We had to think about how the characters looked like, personalities, friends and more. Second we started writing the story and choosing which parts should be a choice or not. Finally we took the whole thing and put it into either the good side or the bad side and combined the whole thing together.  —
Trisha Rajaram, 7th grade


As well as creating games, the girls have been hard at work creating websites that showcase their projects: http://www.friendshiptroublegames.xyz/ & http://www.pastpresentfuture.xyz/

These websites will officially be available on Sunday, December 17th. The teams will also be holding a public open house on Sunday, December 17th from 4PM to 6PM. Girls from both teams will be demonstrating their projects and answering questions. Stop by Do Space and see the fantastic things the girls have accomplished in the last few months. All are welcome!


About Author
Brie Alsbury, Community Learning Specialist
Brie is a Community Learning Specialist with degrees in art from UNO and Iowa State University. When she's not working with computers, she writes and draws comics.