Raspberry Pi, Google and Kainos joined forces with girl guides recently for a digital skills camp, in the New Forest.
Guides and members of The Senior Section (aged 12-15) from south-west England headed to the The Guide Association’s Foxlease centre for a ‘TechAdventure 2014’ hands-on weekend of learning the basics of computer science.
The weekend featured workshops and mentoring sessions for 32 girls and young women. Attendees competed in a "Dragon’s Den" style challenge to design the most innovative app for Girlguiding.
The girls used Raspberry Pi computers, from Google, to code programmes such as Scratch and AppInventor.
Digital company Kainos, which sponsored the weekend, will support Girlguiding South West England to develop the winning app into a finished product for launch to market.
All girls that attended received a "TechAdventure 2014" badge, and a Raspberry Pi to keep.
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Jo Kerr, head of digital communications for Girlguiding, said: “The Guides constantly evolve and adapt as the lives of girls and young women change. We’re focusing on digital because we know how it impacts every aspect of girls’ lives.
“This weekend is a superb opportunity to help girls understand technology, and hopefully inspire some of them to consider a digital career.”
Google engineer Caroline Yates, who attended TechAdventure 2014 camp as a mentor, said: “I got into coding because I was good at maths and enjoyed problem-solving, but there’s a perception that computer engineering isn’t a career for girls.
“This couldn’t be more wrong. It’s vital we show young girls that coding is fun, interesting and challenging, and a brilliant option for a career.”
The first technology-focused Girlguiding camp was spearheaded by a local Guide leader and principal architect at Kainos, Lorna Hermin.
She said: “The UK is quickly becoming a world leader in technology, home to innovative companies like Kainos doing great things.
“TechAdventure brings together two of my favourite things - Girlguiding and technology - in the hope that we can bring a new aspect to the Girlguiding programme and inspire girls to be part of the next generation of technologists and engineers.”
The next camp is planned for Easter 2015 in Belfast.