K women show GISMO girls there’s no magic to learning computer science

K Computer Science students Natalie Davenport ’16, Octavia Smith ’18 and Melany Diaz ’16 (l-r) showed local 6th- and 7th-grade girls that there is no magic to learning computer science.

More Kalamazoo College Computer Science majors doing good things:

Recently, Natalie Davenport ’16, Octavia Smith ’18 and Melany Diaz ’16 (l-r in photo) led sessions on Android app creation for Kalamazoo-area sixth- and seventh-grade girls at GISMO (Girls Investigate Science and Math Opportunities), held at KAMSC (Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center).

In six separate sessions (with about 15 girls per session) titled “Magic 8-Ball with App Inventor” the K women guided the GISMO girls through steps to create an Android app that, when activated (by pressing a button or shaking the device), gives a random response just like the iconic fortune-telling “Magic 8-ball” toy.

They also shared their experiences and excitement about computing with the middle school girls and, according to Associate Professor of Computer Science Pam Cutter, “were excited in return to see how quickly these girls caught on to the programming ideas they presented and their desire to do more of this at home.”

Q: Magic 8-Ball, can women do computer science?
A: Our sources say, “Yes! Definitely!”