On Wednesday, November 11, Havergal hosted its fifth Hackathon in partnership with Hackergal (a non-profit organization focused on hosting coding events). This year, schools across Canada participated in the nationwide event dedicated to supporting the education of girls in coding and computer science, in which thousands of students participated in at the same time, on the same day.

There were 26 Havergal students from Grades 6 to 9 participating in this year’s Hackathon, who worked with Grade 10 to 12 mentors from the Girls Who Code Club. The day started by introducing the goal and theme to the students: to use the programming language Lynx to create an interactive story or game that showcases influential female leaders in history.

Lynx is a Canadian made language that is a combination of visual image-based coding and text. Participants received some training exercised in advance of the day to learn how to use it, which helped the girls to pick up the language quickly.

Guest speaker Vanessa Kermen from CIBC, who works as a Release Manager, talked to the group about how she works with teams of programmers to develop new apps and updates to banking systems as well as the gender gap and the advantage of knowing what coding is. She encouraged the girls to continue to learn and explore the world of programming.

Thank you to Ms. Kerman for encouraging participants to continue to learn more about coding, to Havergal College teachers Mr. Kyle Cardinale and Mr. Gaven MacDonald for hosting the event and to the student mentors from the Girls Who Code Club for giving their time and attention to encouraging girls to code. Congratulations to all of the participants on learning a new programming language. We hope your interest in computer science continues to thrive!