To my fifth grade self, who was participating in FIRST Lego League, the concept of drag-and-drop block code that could make a robot move seemed like magic. I had no idea that there was actually code behind each of those blocks, but I was enchanted by all the ways I could make the robot move with them. As I grew up and started learning more advanced programming languages, I found that my penchant for programming only grew.
Although I enjoyed both arts and science classes in school, they each had parts to them that deterred me. Computer science was the perfect balance, and combined my favorite parts of each subject. When I write code, I am able to combine the freedom and creativity of writing and art with the logic and structure of math and science. To me, this is something irreplaceable and unique. Through this hackathon, I personally hope to learn from the different perspectives of the participants and their projects, and am really looking forward to seeing the end products!
About the hackathon:
Computer science is what I like to think of as “the most art-like science,” since it requires the most creativity of the main three that are taught in high school. This is precisely what first drew me into programming.
Unfortunately, the reality is that not many of my peers share my excitement for computer science. I believe that this is a result of a lack of exposure rather than a lack of interest. Stereotypes about programmers have long classified them as geeks who rapidly write lines of complicated code to solve their issues. This doesn’t exactly paint the most attractive picture for potential students, especially girls. I’ve always wondered how more people could get involved in the subject and learn that these stereotypes are not true. After participating in a hackathon with my friends, I found my answer. There would be no better way to show off the appeal of computer science than through a hackathon! Even for people who thought that coding was hard, a short term event would be exciting and low-stress.
Traditionally, a hackathon is a time limited event in which participants race to come up with the best possible project that aligns with a given theme. Although an in-person event wasn’t possible this year, we are preserving the spirit of the hackathon through our weeklong virtual event. I hope that this event will be a chance for students who wouldn’t normally learn programming to dip their toes into the water and give it a chance.
About World Coding Club
When the ASIJ Computer Science Club first decided to host a hackathon, I didn’t expect to end up working at World Coding Club. In these last few months, I have gained a lot of experience. In this short span, I’ve gotten used to speaking to large groups of people, interacting with professionals in different fields, and making quick decisions.
The beliefs at the core of World Coding Club very closely mirror my own with its emphasis on making the resources to learn computer science available to groups around the world which may not have otherwise had the opportunity to do so. In my own life, for instance, I’ve witnessed firsthand the disparity between males and females when it comes to interest in computer science. Although there are a variety of reasons for this, I believe that World Coding Club is helping us move towards a world where these reasons are no longer barriers to learning.
There is still so much progress left to make within Tokyo. I look forward to working with future student ambassadors who join us at World Coding Club, so that we can expand our horizons and help pave the way for our goal to become a reality.