Calvert High Girls: Taking the World of Code by Storm


LaNaiah Frieson, Contributor

While living in a pandemic, in-person activities have been quickly digitized through video conferencing apps like Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams that have been at the forefront of safe communication. Now more than ever, there has been an increased need for computer scientists equipped with knowledge and skills needed to provide the public with digital means to assemble.  

Only one in five computing occupations are held by women, yet they make up 57% of those with bachelor’s degrees in the field (CNBC). Throughout history, there has been an imbalance of power that directly impacts the likelihood of women working in traditionally male dominated fields, such as computer science, though they have all the requirements needed to effectively do so. This suppression of women in the computational field has inspired people worldwide to start pushing for gender equality in the workplace, and it has even made its way to the classroom. 

Girls Who Code, a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology, started in 2018 at CHS as a group of 12 girls taking computer science classes who wanted a safe space to learn how to code. At the time, there were few females enrolled in each of the computer science classes offered at CHS. 

Senior Catherine Roe, president of Calvert’s 2021-2022 Chapter of Girls Who Code believes that the club accomplishes their goal of bringing together a community of women with an interest in computer science. “It’s an environment where we can all learn together,” she said. 

Even if a prospective member does not have any prior background knowledge about coding, they are still encouraged to join. “Our club educates, equips, and inspires girls with the computing skills they’ll need to pursue 21st-century opportunities,” said Mr. Shane Wines, one of the club’s sponsors and computer science teacher. “We are focused on including more people to try out computer science and using computer science and the computer science community to help people.” 

Last year, the club enjoyed branching out into the community through hosting family code nights and participating in app and website competitions. This year they plan on hosting more events now that they are back in person. 

Girls Who Code meets in Mr. Wines’ classroom (325) on Tuesdays during both lunches. In those meetings, they complete computer science-related projects, learn about people who succeeded in computer science, and plan community building events. This year specifically, the club plans on starting to learn processes to solve problems, design, and code with drones. GWC members aim to start a movement of girls unafraid to disrupt gender-based inequalities and make our school more inclusive.