Kingdom of iCity and 18 princesses

Ljiljana Polić
Ljiljana Polić
May 5, 2017

Every last Thursday in April is traditionally celebrated as the International Day of Girls in ICT. Aleksandra Bošković, General Manager of Bild Studio, held a lecture on that occasion at the elementary school “Pavle Rovinski” and brought closer the IT world  to the 7th grade pupils.

Just until recently, the IT industry was considered as the male sphere; however, in the recent decade, more talk about the role of women who are contributing to the advancement of the IT sector. The International Day of Girls in ICT is marked with the aim of raising the awareness of girls about the importance of information-communication technologies and their ability to build a career in a wide range of IT jobs.

Aleksandra Boskovic informed 7-graders about successful women in history, real revolutionaries in their fields, who bravely fought with prejudices about women and their social possibilities. Girls recognized some of the names from history books and popular movies. Florence Nightingale, the first modern nurse, dared to go to the battlefield even though it was considered immoral for a woman at the time. Her contribution to statistical research of diseases and categorization of the most common causes of death on the battlefield, a medical oath to nurses/ technicians, are just some of the things that have left a deep mark in history.

For the first time, these pupils met the term “suffragette”, on the example of significant women who fought for the legal equality of men and women. On the other hand, Coco Chanel was a known name for girls, a woman who changed the fashion and struggled for a better position of women in society, with strong influence on women’s fashion. Marie Curie, French physicist and chemist, Rosalind Franklin, British biophysicist and crystallographer, Amelia Earhart, aviator, Valentina Tereshkova, astronaut, are just a few of the mentioned women that marked the 20th century.

The girls were particularly interested in hearing more about the great achievements of women in the IT sector: Ada Lovelace, who made the first counting machine, Grace Hopper, who is, among other, responsible for the idea of writing a  programming language in English (FLOW-MATIC is the first such programming language used to create the first high-level programming language COBOL), then Margaret Hamilton, which enabled landing on the Moon using code.

Aleksandra used Bild Studio as a case study to describe all different jobs in the IT industry, by presenting each woman in Bild individually and explaining their role in the agency and its departments: software development, web and mobile applications development, website development, software testing, design, project management, marketing, finance. At the very end, the students were introduced with a few tools that can already be used if they are interested in IT:

  • Lisa Explains it All – educational site for website development,
  • Duolingo – application for learning foreign languages,
  • CODE – code learning for children,
  • Khan Academy – useful not only for coding, but for learning math, art, economics, etc,
  •  Alice – an educational program that teaches children how to make 3D animations,
  • Scratch – an animation and game creation program.

Particularly interesting was seeing young girls catching notes and advice on their smart phones. No paper was seen in the classroom. :)

We are very pleased to have celebrated this day and encouraged girls in elementary school to think about their future call, demystifying the position of women in the IT sector. We hope this lecture has tickled their imagination, bringing them a notion of a  bright IT future. We have seen a few eye sparkles in the classroom. :)

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