The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

Girls Who Code Club Celebrates STEM Field Trailblazers for Women’s History Month

March was first named Women’s History Month in 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, according to The Library of Congress. Women’s contributions to history and contemporary society remain celebrated by people all over the United States, including at Portola High.

To honor the women who paved the way for girls’ advancement in male-dominated fields like coding, Girls Who Code (GWO) hosted a club meeting on March 20 to highlight the stories of women such as Carol Shaw and Ava Lovelace who broke barriers in the STEM field through game design and computer programming respectively, according to co-President and sophomore Avnit Kaur.

“I’ve definitely learned a lot from this club about coding, but also including other girls and encouraging them to pursue coding and STEM,” junior Shriya Ravipati said. 

Kaur said that she and co-President and senior Injila Adil envisioned their club as a space for girls to come together for support and growth. As one of only four girls in her AP Computer Science A class, Kaur said she understands how women can feel isolated in STEM fields.

“The reason I decided to start this club and become the founder was to have an avenue for girls to meet one another and collaborate, because sometimes it can be scary being the only girl in a room,” Kaur said. “When you’re with other girls, you feel more open to talking and collaborating. Being with one another inspires you to do more and get involved, so I thought if we create and foster a community with all girls, we can promote one another and just encourage one another to pursue our career.”

The presidents presented female video and arcade game creators and other engineers at this meeting. They also began their lessons on the advanced programming language Swift to prepare for upcoming app development opportunities.

“I personally haven’t seen other clubs doing Women’s History Month activities, but I think Girls Who Code took that first step,” Kaur said. “We wanted to do that spotlight on them because I feel like it’s very important to highlight their contributions, because I know they must have gone through many challenges to reach that position.”

GWO plans to continue promoting appreciation for women’s accomplishments in the STEM field through social media, according to Kaur. The club consistently posts about their meetings and the activities they are planning for future events, such as their collaboration with the club Planet Protectors. Kaur said that their goal is to get more girls interested in STEM, and they hope to do so with these initiatives.

“Contributing to Women’s History Month is exactly what we stand for because highlighting these key achievements is exactly what we’re striving to do — find role models and see how other women have done it in the past and use that to go forward ourselves,” Kaur said. “So, I think highlighting these achievements today in our meeting really inspired other girls — inspired me — to keep going forward and continue my passion for coding.”

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About the Contributor
Maya Tedini, Opinion Editor
Maya Tedini is the Opinion Editor for her second year on the Portola Pilot. She’s looking forward to working with the leadership team along with getting to know the new members of the Pilot. She’s excited to discover all the fascinating opinions of the wonderful staff and to continue to grow her strengths as a journalist. Outside of the newsroom, she’s most likely listening to music, that may or may not all be by Taylor Swift, at cheer practice or spending time with her sister.
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