Earth Day is this Friday, April 22nd, a day to demonstrate support for environmental protection around the world.
To celebrate, we spoke to the winners of the Girls Code 4 Climate Contest from Altona Middle School in Longmont, Colorado about how they made the winning videos, their interest in programming and science, and how they're helping to save the earth!
Q: What was the most exciting thing about doing this project?
Katja: Recording it was the most exciting and fun- especially the video for it was awesome.
Sudhiksha: Recording was fun, but also really challenging because we had to fit everything under a 30-second time limit, and we had a lot of information.
Sreya: It was exciting to know that information that we added to that video could actually have an effect and make the world a better place.
Q: What was the most challenging aspect of this project?
Sudhiksha: For me, it was finding an idea. It was hard brainstorming and coming up with an idea.
Katja: We had to rush at the end to get everything in, so we couldn’t make it as good as we wanted it to be.
Alyssa: It was challenging to research and find all the information.
Eilene: We were rushed because it took us a long time to find our idea. We switched topics three different times.
Sreya: Storyboarding took us a really long time. We had to figure out what we were going to talk about and how to write the script.
Q: What did you learn from this process?
Sreya: I learned that we had to manage our time and not goof off as much, but that’s also what made the project fun.
Katja: We also learned how to storyboard a video.
Sudhiksha: I’m going to focus more on what the project was about. I was really surprised about how high the stats regarding climate change are. I just went with the crowd before and thought climate change might happen or might not. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, but now I know. In a few years - decades, Florida will be gone along with a number of other big cities. It’s mind boggling.
Sreya: Simple things like not mowing your lawn as much or using less paper - just those small things can make a huge impact to prevent the so-called “end of the world.”
Katja: My family is very climate-active. We go to rallies, we participate and learn about it, but I don’t think I ever realized before we made these videos that I was part of climate change - that I had caused it to happen. So now I’ve been making an effort to change.
Sudhiksha: Since we made that video, I’m always thinking I shouldn’t use so much construction paper. I remind myself that I should cut from the edges and waste less. If more people watch the video, they could be reminded too, and that could make a big impact on saving the planet.
Alyssa: Before we made these videos, I never took climate change that seriously. Now I’m more aware of what’s happening.
Eileen: When I was a little kid, I used to love wasting paper. I would cut it up into little pieces and throw them in the air. Afterwards, I would clean it up and put it in the trash instead of reusing it. Now I feel like that was such a waste of paper and such a waste of our climate and our future. Doing this video made a large impact on me.
Q: What did you like about participating in the contest and using the Vidcode technology?
Q: How does it feel to be winners and girls in a programming competition?
Sudhiksha: I love this feeling because many girls are not considered to be engineers or scientists. I don’t like gender inequality. I think that’s one of the top problems of the world. To win against 300 other videos is an honor, and it shows that girls can code.
Katja: It’s like telling yourself that you can do things you didn’t think you could. I started this project because I thought it would be a good experience and didn’t expect to win. When Sreya and I won the Runner-Up title, I started to think that I can do things and can make an impact on the world. So now I’ve entered in a few different competitions.
Sreya: When people use stereotypes like girls can’t do stuff, I want to prove to other people that I’m strong. When it came to coding, I was a little frustrated at first, but it’s nice to know we can do it without that gender thing. We’re just sixth graders and we’re girls. It feels amazing to succeed.
Alyssa: We proved that girls can do coding and science!
Q: Will you continue to learn programming?
Katja: I don’t plan to make a career out of programming, but I want to learn more. This semester, I’m doing independent study in computer science class.
Eilene: I view coding as a hobby. I like making stuff like games.
Sreya: I used to hate coding. I used to suck at it. When I came into coding class, the teacher made it so much more fun, and since my friends were in the class, that made it even better.
Alyssa: It didn’t really mean to sign up for computer science, but as soon as I walked into class and met the teacher, my whole perspective about coding changed.
Sudhiksha: I love coding. It’s one of my hobbies. I do it for fun. I’m really interested in being a genetic engineer and that requires a lot of computer and programming skills.