School girls from the ACT and NSW have discovered the various applications of ICT, including programming robots, app development, creating art with code and deciphering encryption at Girls in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Day.
Hosted by the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science, the girls spoke with current students, heard from women in the industry, and got hands-on in a range of workshops and demonstrations, led by ANU staff, students and industry representatives.
For year nine Canberra Girls Grammar School students Sophie-Rose Eccles and Arpita Das, highlights of the day included creating art with code and eye-tracking activities.
“Programming to create art was really fun. I’ve done some scratch programming before, but not to create images – there were so many possibilities!” said Sophie.
“I really enjoyed the eye-tracking activity. It was interesting to see where your eyes moved when looking at an image, and what you focussed on. The event really enhanced my interest in IT and all its applications,” added Arpita.
Alongside ICT activities, the event also provided a chance to educate, inspire and empower young women, celebrate women in the industry and raise awareness of the need for girls to step up to the fun and inventive field of ICT – just like ANU student Paige Brown.
Paige attended Girls in ICT Day in 2015 as a year 12 student. Two years later, the software engineering student is now helping to run the day, and inspiring the next generation of computer scientists.
“When I was in College, I knew I wanted to study IT, but attending the Girls in ICT Day event gave me the confidence to follow through with it, and know I was making the right decision.”
Combining her software engineering degree with an arts degree majoring in criminology, Paige is now on the path to forging her dream career in cybercrime.
“My advice to all the girls that attended the event is to try everything, and don’t be scared to give new things a go! We need more women in IT because they bring new ideas to the field, and look at problems in different ways.”
Professor Elanor Huntington, Dean of the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science also encouraged young women to get involved in the booming ICT industry.
“The ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science is delighted to host this event again. ICT skills will be the foundation of almost every job in the future. I am very keen to encourage as many young women as we can to participate.”
International Girls in ICT Day will be held on 27 April 2017.
In July, the College will be hosting its annual Girls in Engineering and Technology Program (GET Set) for year 11 and 12 students who wish to explore an education and career in engineering or technology.
Now in its 10th year, there will be a special program of activities featuring design, test and build tasks, lectures, demonstrations and more. Find out more about GET Set and register here.