Our Girls Who Code participants officially have completed their time at Expedia for the summer. We had 20 students involved in our Girls Who Code Summer Immersion program, and 10 additional young women—alumni of Girls Who Code—who participated in our Apprenticeship program. While the apprentices were hard at work on Expedia team assignments, the Immersion students tried their hands at developing some unique apps.
Here’s an overview of what the Girls Who Code students built:
- LocaLife. An app for a one-stop destination to find out about concerts, farmers markets, sports and fitness, and season events in a given area (currently just for the Seattle area).
- Grain 4 Grain. This is a trivia game app where you answer questions in a given category. The more questions you answer correctly, the more rice will be donated to help world hunger. (Actual donating isn’t a current feature, but the overall plan).
- AlterEco. An app that will let you know if a certain item needs to be recycled, composted, or thrown in the trash. You can search for items or suggest items if the item in question is not currently in the database. There also is info on the different types of recycled materials, and what different recycling symbols mean.
- Save the Bees. A game to raise awareness about the mysterious disappearance of bees. In the game, you are a bee and have to collect pollen and pollinate a flower while avoiding the pesticide clouds coming at you. The webpage for the app also includes information about bees, their disappearance, and the environmental impacts of both.
- InforMe. A third-party app to present information about high-profile political issues, both for and against. It also connects to recent news about particular topic areas.
- r0b0tIc arm. A robotic arm controlled by a Wii nunchuck with a claw and two pivot points. This was created out of Arduino parts and cardboard.
The girls pitched these ideas to a room full of Expedia executives, employees, mentors, and friends and family. Vice President of Technology Jen O’Twomney and President of Brand Expedia Aman Bhutani were both in the audience, and offered words of wisdom before presenting each student with her diploma.
Jen also shared a personal story about when she experienced setbacks during college. It was a story of perseverance and determination, and during the talk she encouraged the girls to embrace what may seem like failures in their lives and learn from them to become stronger women.
Aman provided some background about how he came into the technology industry: As a high-school graduate, he was ready to forgo college and become an animator, but he eventually ended up studying economics and discovering his love for coding and technology. He urged the girls to continue pursuing their passions for technology, even if that is not where they end up down the road. The key takeaway from his talk: No matter what the girls choose to do, their foundation of computer science will help them throughout their journeys and make them stand-out candidates.
Aside from all the knowledge the girls absorbed during their time in the program, they also formed strong friendships with their peers, mentors and teachers. In a slideshow, the girls thanked all of their teachers, mentors, and Expedians, and gave everyone a behind-the-scenes look at the fun they had. They also used the slide show to share some of their favorite moments, including field trips and karaoke nights.
Cleary these young women have big opportunities ahead of them! We are incredibly grateful for their time this summer and what they have taught us. We hope they continue pursuing their passions for computer science. Our Girls Who Code girls got a sample of what a career in technology can offer. Hopefully we will see them in our Apprenticeship program next summer!