Co.Lab Teaches 25 Girls Coding, Photography, and Collaboration over April Break

This April vacation, RedHat Software, in partnership with Boston University, Boston After School & Beyond, and Sociedad Latina, transformed City Hall Plaza into a high-tech STEAM learning lab for 25 girls from the Timilty Middle School and the Mario Umana Academy. During Co.Lab, students learned the basics of computer programming and the importance of teamwork, creativity, and collaboration in the open-source tech world.

Over the course of this three day learning experience, students built digital cameras using Raspberry Pi computers, explored Boston through photography, and worked together to curate a visual setting of Hope is the Thing with Feathersby Emily Dickenson.

Co.Lab also provided students with opportunities to connect with female mentors from RedHat, Boston University, and CTP. By working alongside these role-models, students practiced important concepts in coding and photography and learned about the steps these women took to become STEAM professionals.

During the final day of Co.Lab, students presented their work to Mayor Marty Walsh, demonstrating how they converted Raspberry Pi computers into digital cameras and showcasing their final setting of Hope is the Thing with Feathers.

Mayor Walsh commended students for their work and their willingness to participate in this project during their April vacation, and congratulated them on taking a major step towards becoming the next generation of female software engineers, graphic designers, and photojournalists. Addressing the students and members of the media, Mayor Walsh also stressed the importance of project based STEAM learning experiences and made the case for offering more coding opportunities to students in Boston Public Schools.

Following Co.Lab, participating students took home their Raspberry Pi computers, Pi-Top Ceed monitors, and camera components. These tools, coupled with the knowledge and experience gained during Co.Lab, will allow students to continue pursuing coding projects beyond this three-day learning experience.

Co.Lab provided an opportunity for middle school girls to learn coding through an interactive, creative, and collaborative project and connect with role-models. Through this project, students developed an interest in STEAM that will guide them towards pursuing STEAM in college and careers. Special thanks to RedHat Software, Boston University, Sociedad Latina, and CTP for making this event possible.

Photos courtesy of RedHat Software