With Canada’s Only All-Girls Hackathon Closing the Technology Gender Gap Hackergal Brings Girls Together to Code with a Purpose
TORONTO, July 31, 2021 – Hackergal’s national all-girls Hackathon was a huge success with more than 450 girls registered for the event from June 4 to 11, 2021. Hackergal’s National Hackathon program is designed for girls in grades 6-9 to raise awareness and generate enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education among girls across the country.
The theme for the Hackathon was “She Codes The Future.” Participating students worked in groups to imagine what the future could like from their perspective. As the next generation of technology entrepreneurs, problem solvers, leaders, and change-makers, participants were encouraged to harness their creativity, be bold and dream of what could be possible when their imaginations have no limits!
Some “She Codes The Future” projects from participating students put their creative thinking on display about the issues facing the world.
- Madalynn, Grade 7 – “She Codes the future in the Year 3000” (Interactive Story)
- Darla, Grade 9 – “Save the World”
- Jennifer, Grade 9 – “Hackergal Food Teleporter” (Interactive Story on World Hunger)
This was Hackergal’s 10th bi-annual Hackathon, a nationwide event that builds a community of female* coders across Canada. This year the entire event was done virtually for the first time.
“This year’s Hackathon set a precedent! We were blown away with how the girls creatively solved real world problems with their newly-acquired coding and computational thinking skills,” said Kumiko Imai, Director of Education at Hackergal. “We know how much this event means to the girls who are part of our programs as well as the teachers and parents, and we saw how the community really showed up for one another.”
“When I first joined Hackergal I was really nervous about coding, but now I feel confident. I learned a lot and I love that when I’m coding, I decide what happens next. And some of the most important parts were not even about coding, it was about seeing more women in tech fields. Hackergal influenced my mindset and I learned that just because I am a female, it does not mean I can’t work in tech or in many industries that are mostly males.” said Neina Radhakrishnan, grade 7 Hackathon participant.
“Coding has inspired my 13-year-old daughter to understand that it’s not only for boys. That she too can truly do anything with technology. Coding has also helped to improve her skills in math, creativity and above all her confidence when dealing with technology. Math has always been Neina’s nemesis but since coding she finds it more interesting and is motivated to keep practicing. I’m so grateful to Hackergal for offering an amazing program for girls. Neina’s already planning on joining the next round.” Sonia Walia, Neina Radhakrishnan’s mother.
Hackergal is a charitable organization dedicated to inspiring girls to explore opportunities in computer science. Collaborating with teachers across the country, Hackergal offers a supportive learning experience for both students and educators, providing the tools they need to learn how to code in preparation for Hackergal’s Hackathon.
Hackergal was founded in 2015 with the mission to introduce girls across Canada to computer science through its hackathon program. The charity’s goal is to create a national movement of girls coding, ultimately closing the gender gap in technology and computer science — by sparking their interest and confidence at an early age. Hackergal has four programmatic pillars to support its mission:
- Hackergal Hackathon: The Hackergal Hackathon invites middle school girls across Canada to work in teams to code a project focused on creating social impact change.
- Hackergal Hub: Hackergal Hub is a free online learning platform that equips girls with the tools to lead their own coding journeys!
- Scholarships and Ambassador Program: Hackergal is committed to providing ongoing support to girls who have participated in our programs and are keen to pursue their interest in computer science and technology-related fields. Hackergal will provide internships, scholarships, and networking opportunities to pave the way for a more equitable future in technology.
- Growing Hackergal – Diversity and Inclusion: Hackergal is focused on expanding our reach and impact on girls and facilitators across Canada to support BIPOC communities, building inclusive programs that reflect the diversity of the communities we serve.