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DMC Brings Coding to Middle School Girls

DMC Brings Coding to Middle School Girls

This year, DMC took the opportunity to present at the 27th Annual Houston Expand Your Horizons in Science and Mathematics (EYH) conference at Spring Forest Middle School.

What is EYH?

EYH is an event for middle school girls designed to nurture their interests in mathematics, science, and technology. Around 450 girls attend each year, and a typical day consists of 4 hands-on workshops in various STEM-related fields. DMC Houston engineers, including ElizabethMaddie and I, put together coding demonstrations to get them interested in programming.

DMC houston girls

Fun Processing Demos

After a quick 10 minute introduction to DMC and our backgrounds, the girls got to begin coding with a programming language called Processing. Processing is an open-source graphical library, which makes it a great tool for teaching the fundamentals of computer programming.

The first demo consisted of programming the proper sequence for a stoplight. The girls were given a template project that provided them with three functions: TurnOn, TurnOff, and Wait. They then had to use the functions in the proper order and with the correct arguments to simulate a stoplight. When done correctly, the program would run as demonstrated in the video below.

Stoplight code

Stoplight

The second demo utilized x-y coordinate systems to draw a house. The girls were given a template project that contained a partially completed house. It was up to them to draw the remaining pieces with the proper coordinates. The last step was to color in the image using RGB values.

House Demo

Take-Home USBs

After each session was over, the girls got to take home a USB that contained their stoplight project, their house project, and the Processing software. The goal was to encourage them to continue developing their programming capabilities outside of the EYH workshop.

Overall, the conference was a great experience, and hopefully, the girls enjoyed it as much as we did. As a company with a strong female presence, DMC is happy to foster young women and encourage them to pursue careers in STEM.

Women at DMC

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