Code Wiz logo

On the May 1 weekend, two Code Wiz Arlington coaches had the opportunity to inspire the next generation of women at an online girls-in-technology conference.

Code Wiz Arlington is a coding school for those 7 through 17 years old. With a low student-to-coach ratio, its teachers help to unlock kids' inner coding genius while making learning fun, says owner Jim White.

Programs like these are important, he said, as the number of females graduating with computer science degrees has dropped dramatically since the 1980s. According to research by the National Science Foundation reported by NPR, women in the 1980s made up 37 percent of computer science majors. By 2015, that fell to 17 percent – a more than 50-percent decrease in more than 30 years. These two coaches told their audience that they could be whatever they want and that Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, is fun.

One of the teachers, Andrea Scharf-Aguilar, She inspired the attendees with her art and talked about how code and art complement each other.

She has an associates degree in fine arts and is finishing her bachelors in art with an emphasis in animation at California State University Los Angeles. Andrea teaches Minecraft Coding, Minecraft World Builder and Web Design among other classes.

Kat Lazar, the other teacher who spoke at the conference, told a funny story about how she never expected to enjoy computer science but now thinks Python is her favorite language. Kat showed how code helps her with her math and science courses.

She is a junior at Tufts University, pursuing her major in chemical engineering and a minor in education. She is also the creator of our Minecraft Mystery, Mine Town. 

Girls-in-technology is led by an all-volunteer committee of members who are dedicated to initiating programs designed to excite, inspire, create awareness and educate girls in grades six through 12 about the vast array of career opportunities in the fields of STEM.

One conference participant commented in a chat:

"Well, I don't have a question, but I really liked your art, Andrea! Also @Kat, I also want to go into chemicla engineering when I get older."

CodeWiz Arlington is scheduling slots for vacation camp. To learn more, click here >>

This news summary was published Tuesday, May 4, 2021.