Lincoln School and Sophia Academy Team up For Girls Hack the World Earth Day Hackathon
Teams in First All-Girls Hackathon in Rhode Island to Create Solutions to Help the State’s Environment
Lincoln School and Sophia Academy will be cohosting a hackathon, Girls Hack the World, in celebration of Earth Day 2017. The event will be the first all-girls hackathon in Rhode Island, and will welcome students from Lincoln School and Sophia Academy in grades 5-10. This is the first time two schools are working together to put on an event at this scale.
A hackathon is a short-term gathering in which a group of programmers, designers, and developers collaboratively code to solve a problem or create a project. Girls Hack the World will bring together students from Lincoln School and Sophia Academy to build apps, websites, or games to create real-world solutions designed to help Rhode Island's environment.
The kick off for Girls Hack the World will be held on Thursday, April 20, 2017, featuring guest speakers Theresa Moore, president and founder of T-Time Productions, and Roopa Parekh, New England market vice president of Konica Minolta. T-Time develops and produces unique programming and content for a variety of media platforms including television, film, online and mobile, as well as provides consulting and production services. Moore also works at the Highlander Institute as director of Equity and External Relations, and is a professor at Providence College in its MBA, Masters of Urban Education, and School of Continuing Education programs. Parekh will highlight the importance of women in leadership positions, and share her own personal experience in rising to the top of an organization. During the Thursday night event, the girls will also form cross-functional teams of four comprised of students of the two schools, and learn the fundamentals of how to code.
The main event takes place on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, 2017, and will feature guest speaker Sophie Houser, a student at Brown University who participated in a Girls Who Code Hackathon event as a high school student, where she co-created an app that helped change the world and her life. She recently co-authored a book called Girl Code: Gaming, Going Viral, and Getting it Done about that experience.
Girls Hack the World is specifically geared towards students in Grades 5–10 because it is a particularly vulnerable age range for many young women interested in technology fields. According to Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology, the biggest drop off for female interest in computer science happens between the ages of 13 and 17. The organization also states that by 2020, there will be 1.4 million jobs available in computing-related fields. US graduates are on track to fill 29% of those jobs -- women are on track to fill just 3%. Code.org research states that Rhode Island had 348 computer science graduates in 2015; only 17% were female.
Fostering an interest in technical disciplines such as coding, integrating technology across disciplines, and encouraging participation in events such as hackathons is critical to correcting the gender imbalance in technology. Through hands-on collaboration, the Girls Hack the World hackathon aims to inspire young women to engage in the fields of computer science, design, and engineering.
“Girls Hack the World was designed as a collaborative community event, one that harnesses the power of an all-girls environment to create a great social and learning experience for students from both schools,” said Suzanne Fogarty, Head of Lincoln School. “We hope this hackathon will help girls realize their power in fulfilling their potential, gain confidence in their ability, and ensure girls are better represented in this generation of coders.”
“Sophia Academy provides an immersive learning experience to our students and the Hackathon is a great venue for not only an introduction to technological tools, but a major collaboration between two schools that focus on educating young women," said Gigi DiBello, Head of School, Sophia Academy.