STEM Sisters intern, Leshka Jankowski, spent her internship as part of Portland High School's STEM endorsement program developing a half-day program on Thursday, March 22, 2018 called "Day of Code" for King Middle School girls to learn more about Computer Science. Aligning with the mission of STEM Sisters to increase STEM interests, awareness, and literacy through fun and engaging outreach, Leshka designed this event as aligned with her personal interests in computer science and computer engineering.
Students at King Middle School spent the morning playing various games and going through different activities that helped them develop skills and understanding of underlying CS concepts and learned to apply them while rotating through stations of varying degrees of difficulty. The activities highlighted understanding algorithms such as the infamous Traveling Saleswoman and Minimum Spanning Tree problems, learning to navigate through a maze blind folded, learning the basics of CSS and web design, and learning basic programming skills through block coding.
This was the first event of this kind at King Middle School and brought together 64 girls, 15 volunteers, and invited both Cashstar, Diversifying Solutions, and MEMIC volunteers representing local organizations. A successful event for the first year, STEM Sisters hopes to solidify this as a recurring annual event focused on STEM outreach for middle school girls and as part of the overall pipeline to encourage more girls to enroll in engineering, computer science, and high level AP science courses in high school to better equip them for college and foster a more welcoming and inclusive scientific future community for women.