Students going digital in the Girls Who Code Club


Jordynn Blackwell, Staff Writer

Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School undoubtedly has a variety of clubs that highlight unique interests. The Girls Who Code club, led by teacher advisor Mini Chawla, is no different. 

“This idea came from the fact that stem oriented fields such as computer science are typically male-dominated and there is often discrimination against women in the workplace,”  club member Victoria Solsky said. 

In the world of technology, the divide between men and women is very large and has continued to grow.

“In 1995, 37 percent of computer scientists were women,” Chawla said. “Today, it’s only 24 percent. The percent will continue to decline if it is not addressed. Research shows that the biggest drop off of girls in computer science is between the ages of 13 and 17.”

Chawla continues to mention the significance of Girl Who Code; the club is not only meant to teach girls the ways of coding, yet also prepares them to thrive and lead in the tech workforce.

“This club is basically a sisterhood and an environment of people supporting each other on the coding journeys,” club member Anna Szczuka said. “You can be a beginner, an intermediate or you can be advanced. It’s just a club to come together and learn how to code.”

The club does various activities such as sisterhood activities, project-based learning, diverse role model spotlights and welcoming virtual guest speakers. For the projects they choose, students use a variety of software like Java, Python and HTML. 

After taking a gap year, Girls Who Code has returned, but in different circumstances. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, SPFHS has started the 2020-2021 school year with remote instruction. Despite this, the club has run smoothly since students are using their personal computers. 

As the school year continues, Girls Who Code is looking forward to achieving several goals on their list. 

First, share the projects with the Girls Who Code sisterhood by uploading them to the Girls Who Code Project Gallery,” Chawla said. “Then, club members must create their very own Women in Tech Spotlights highlighting their resilience, bravery, and accomplishments this year. Finally, whether the club is ending in the classroom or on the couch, we plan to celebrate with a party!” 

Girls Who Code meets Wednesdays once or twice a month. For further information, please contact advisor Ms. Chawla.