Freshman Code Crusher gears up for future in tech

tessamclaughlin

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Abby McGill ’19

It’s no secret that the world of Information Technology, or IT, is dominated by men. Last summer, CNET reported that they actually make up about 70 percent of the tech industry as a whole. Code Crush aimed to change that. Freshman Abigail McGill was accepted into the program with the help from science teacher Mrs. Sharon Genoways. She was one of the 40 eighth and ninth grade female students from the Midwest attending the event.

Code Crush was a three night camp held at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, or UNO, from Wednesday, Feb. 24 to Saturday morning, Feb. 27 that had to do with computers, programming, and coding. McGill described the mornings as “mini classes” where they learned about bioinformatics, coding apps, and cybersecurity. During the rest of the day, participants listened to speakers, engaged in panel discussions, and enjoyed other activities like going to the zoo and a UNO basketball game.

“As of right now, I don’t really know a whole lot about coding. I did robotics and had fun with that this year, which has taught me a little, but I mainly wanted to do Code Crush to learn more about IT and whether it is something I’m interested in,” McGill said. “It also just sounded like a neat experience that would be super interesting and a lot of fun.”

McGill and Genoways had the opportunity to stay on campus for the event, and were excited to begin their adventure. Before the event, she said, “I am not really nervous, other than I am still not entirely sure what to expect. I am excited to meet new people who are interested in a lot of the same things I am,” McGill said.

The event enthralled McGill from one activity to the next. “I definitely had a lot of favorite parts of the camp! One was that we got to go to the zoo and learn how they use technology throughout the zoo, especially in the aquarium and the Africa exhibit,” McGill said. “Then we got to go on a behind-the-scenes tour of the aquarium, which was really cool.”

McGill also relished partaking in the mini classes every morning at the camp. “My favorite of the mini classes was one where we got to program a game on the computer and then download it on a tablet and see it work,” McGill said.

The girls at Code Crush even had the chance to see the IT world from someone else’s perspective. “We had a lot of opportunities to talk to and ask question to current IT students at UNO, alumni, and people who have jobs that have to do with IT, which was super interesting and gave me a better idea of what it would actually be like if I decided that’s the type of career I wanted to pursue,” McGill said.

By participating in Code Crush, McGill learned skills that could potentially spark a future career for her. “Pretty much everything I learned was new to me, because I really didn’t have any experience coming in. That said, I did learn a lot, and it was a really great experience,” McGill said.

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