Hamilton High School senior highlights importance of girls in STEM with Girls Who Code

Some of the Girls Who Code members are pictured here after a club meeting. (Courtesy Anika Attaluri)
Some of the Girls Who Code members are pictured here after a club meeting. (Courtesy Anika Attaluri)

Some of the Girls Who Code members are pictured here after a club meeting. (Courtesy Anika Attaluri)

When Anika Attaluri moved to Hamilton High School, she realized there were not many clubs focused on science, technology, engineering and math—better known as STEM. Upon further investigation, she realized there were only a few girls involved in the STEM-focused clubs that did exist.

So, in her sophomore year, she took matters into her own hands and worked to bring Girls Who Code to Hamilton.

"I wanted to bring the club to Hamilton for girls to have a safe space and explore coding," Attaluri said.

Girls Who Code is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology and reforming the image of a programmer.

Attaluri worked with teacher Teresa Suan to bring the club to the campus, and since then, they have had about 150 participants—not just at Hamilton, but through sessions at local libraries, schools and other community centers.


"I am definitely really glad we brought the club here," Attaluri said. "I'm glad we are able to provide space for girls to express themselves and explore. I saw this statistic that in 1995, only 37% of computer scientists were women, and in 20 years, the percentage of female computer scientists decreased. These numbers were appalling, and I can see the gender gap getting worse, and I am glad to be a part of an organization dedicated to fixing that."

Since the COVID-19 pandemic moved school to a virtual format back in March for Chandler USD students, Attaluri has been working one-on-one with people interested in learning more about coding. She said she hopes to get approval on a proposal she created for the upcoming school year—if the district decides to keep students attending school via virtual programs for an extended period of time—to move the Girls Who Code club to a virtual format as well.

She said it is important to her that the club continues, no matter how students are accessing education.

"I really love that at the end of the session, our last session is kind of this celebratory party where we celebrate the skills we have learned and enjoy spending time together," she said. "Knowing everyone in the room is really proud of their work is great, but they also have a new idea of what a coder is. I think a lot of people have this idea in their head of a coder being a man sitting at a booth and working all alone. We've opened members' eyes to show that they can apply coding to literally any field that they are interested in. I really like seeing that progression."

For more information on Girls Who Code at Hamilton, visit this webpage or email gwchamilton@gmail.com.


MOST RECENT

Three businesses in Chandler have one-year anniversaries this year. (Community Impact staff)
Three Chandler-area businesses celebrate one-year anniversaries

Here are three businesses in Chandler with one-year anniversaries this year.

Almost 3 million COVID-19 doses have been administered to Maricopa County residents as of May 4, according to the Maricopa County Department of Public Health. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Nearly 3M vaccine doses have been given to Maricopa County residents

Almost 3 million COVID-19 doses have been administered to Maricopa County residents as of May 4, according to the Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

See daily COVID-19 data updates. (Community Impact staff)
COVID-19: See Chandler COVID-19 cases, vaccinations by ZIP code

Here is what you need to know about COVID-19 case counts in Chandler and the state.

Here are the coronavirus hospitalization data updates to know across Arizona. (Community Impact staff)
ADHS: Hospitalization for COVID-19 increases slightly from May 2

Here is what you need to know about hospitalization numbers in Arizona because of COVID-19 cases.

99 Ranch Market will anchor the shopping center located at the northeast corner of Chandler Boulevard and Dobson Road. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
99 Ranch Market to anchor Chandler shopping center

99 Ranch Market will anchor the shopping center located at the northeast corner of Chandler Boulevard and Dobson Road.

Jinya Ramen Bar opened its downtown Chandler location April 29. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Jinya Ramen Bar opens downtown Chandler location

Jinya Ramen Bar opened its downtown Chandler location April 29

Chandler USD Superintendent Camille Casteel announced she will be canceling an event planned to honor her years of service to the district ahead of her retirement at the end of the school year. (Alexa D'Angelo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Chandler USD cancels event for outgoing superintendent; new businesses at The Post at Cooley Station and more top area news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Chandler and Gilbert areas.

More than 2.8 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Maricopa County residents. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Almost 1.3 million Maricopa County residents have received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine

In the last week, an average of about 30,000 doses of vaccine per day were administered.

Sasha's Kitchen & Cocktails finds groove with new menu, drinks

A new scratch Italian menu was implemented last summer as well as an array of new cocktails.

Mechanical Keyboards recently acquired a 74,000-square-foot flex industrial building in west Chandler, according to an April 26 news release. (Courtesy city of Chandler)
Mechanical Keyboards announces expansion with new facility in Chandler

Mechanical Keyboards recently acquired a 74,000 square-foot flex industrial building in west Chandler, according to an April 26 news release.

The Arizona Department of Health Services announced April 27 that appointments are no longer required at the state's COVID-19 vaccination sites.  (Courtesy Adobe Stock/Graphic by Justin Howell/Community Impact Newspaper)
ADHS: Appointments no longer required at state-run COVID-19 vaccination sites

The Arizona Department of Health Services announced April 27 that appointments are no longer required at the state's COVID-19 vaccination sites.