Avye, the 12-year-old running coding workshops for girls in London

Coding workshops for girls in London run by a Wimbledon 12-year-old

By Gaelle Legrand
February 29 2020, 15.49

A young Wimbledon resident will lead a coding workshop for young girls at Microsoft Reactor on Sunday.

Avye Couloute, 12, has been running Girls Into Coding since July 2018, with the help of her mum, Helene Virolan, and will host the next workshop on March 1.

Girls Into Coding is designed for girls aged 10 to 14 and is divided in three parts: the workshop, a series of talks from senior role models in the industry and a ‘gift bag with goodies and instructions to finish their projects and continue their journey into coding’.

“When I started coding, I would start a project that I would want to continue after the workshop but most of the time, I wouldn’t have anything to be able to, so it created a lack of motivation, whereas with the kit we are providing, girls can carry on at home,” said Avye.

Since 2013, the UK government has introduced coding in school curriculums and Girls Into Coding is one of the many enterprises teaching coding to young people in the UK.

However, the boot camp-style classes are generally all-gender.

“Girls feel less intimidated with girls-only workshops and they are amazed of things they did not know beforehand,” said Avye’s mother Helene.

The free session enables young girls to get started in 3D Design, scanning, and printing through Microbit and the Raspberry Pi (pocket size computers).

Avye, the 12-year-old running coding workshops for girls in London
INSPIRING – Avye started coding at 7 and has already won many prizes.

Miss Couloute said : “What I like with coding is that you can do physical computing, like for instance, making a robot.

“I love to show girls how to make the arm of a robot move up and down.

“And when you show these tricks, people are more interested.”

The 12-year-old started coding at the age of 7 and has won many prizes for her technical projects including ‘Inspiring Juniors, UK’ and One to Watch at the 2019 FDM Group EveryWoman Tech Award.

She created the non-for-profit enterprise as a crowdfunded event before attracting the eye of Microsoft which sponsored the next workshops.

“They really like Avye’s mission to invite more girls into coding and they sponsored her for a year,” said Helene.

“This meant they would deploy money for everything practical, like the venue as well security there, to the goody bags we’re able to provide at the end of the workshops.”

Girls Into Coding reflects the necessity to close the gender gap in digital and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

A 2018 report from the OECD warned that some gender parity in innovation will be reached only in 2080.

Photo credits: Helene Virolan

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