Think Big TechStars with O2

taBack in April we hosted a couple of coding workshops for local pupils in Slough to encourage and inspire girls to get into the technology industry.

Based on our successful Think Big School model and supported by Telefónica’s Women’s Network, these TechStars sessions aim to inspire girls aged 14 and up to consider a career or further studies in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths).

Run by our graduates, the half-day workshops give girls an introduction into coding as well as providing an opportunity to network with female role-models from across O2, over a slice of cake.

The first group of keen coders dropped by on 24 April, Girls in ICT Day, and the sessions proved to be such a hit that a second sessions was set up a week later, on 30 April with students from a local school.

During the after-school sessions, the girls were introduced to HTML, with our Talentum graduates on hand to guide them through creating and formatting their own web page, using HTML and CSS. Once they mastered the basics of coding, they soon bypassed our experts for guidance and started searching the internet for their own commands, proving just how accessible coding is and how it pays to be resourceful and imaginative in the tech world.

Both sessions ended on a high, with many of the girls telling us how much they enjoyed themselves. But more importantly, what did the parents think?

“A brilliant practical session where the girls got to create their own webpage and learn the basics of HTML. She was desperate to get home and carry on.”

“My daughter absolutely loved it, so much so that she’s now asked me to find weekly coding classes for her!  Having it run by people she can relate to made a big difference – school ICT lessons just don’t cover this kind of area.”

In 2011, only 9% of pupils taking A-level computing classes were female. Telefonica’s Think Big has made it their mission to prepare young people for the future and empower them to drive positive change.

If you’ve got digital or tech skills and want to share them with the next generation, why not get involved with our next TechStars sessions?

Get in touch via email: ThinkBigTechStars@o2.com