More than 50 girls from all over Northern Virginia gathered Friday evening for the “Jump Into Game Design” event at Foxcroft School. The evening
Each girl created the entire Frogger arcade game in a 3D gaming environment using a laptop, an online tool called AgentCubes and a little guidance from Foxcroft’s Maria Evans and Foxcroft students who had either taken or were currently enrolled in the computer science class.
“I think it’s really good to get girls involved in the STEM field early on,” senior Carolina Wasinger said about the event. “I think it’ll get a lot more girls involved. If you start encouraging women in this field at a younger age, like middle school,, they’re going to get involved and get interested in it earlier, and they’re going to want to be involved in the future.”
The event also included a pizza dinner, prizes, and discussion time. No coding experience was necessary for girls participating.
“The evening will help girls overcome any fears or reticence they may have about programming,” said Foxcroft STEM Department Chair Maria Evans, Ph.D., who is organizing the event along with former Math Department Chair Susan Erba. “And realize that programming is really just logical steps towards a solution. They can take their working game back to their families and friends to help spread the excitement and fun.”
Coding also teachers girls problem solving, critical thinking and perseverance, Erba said, because they have to work their way through complications and mistakes. Erba hopes that the girls are interested once they see what they can do with coding and will continue learning.
This event was part of Foxcroft’s ongoing dedication to increasing women’s participation in STEM.