Participants at the inaugural Girls Hack Ireland event in Dublin City University (DCU)
Teenage students Gabi Fullam, Ellen Treacy-McGee, Micaiah Murray and Esly Canga pictured at the Girls Hack Ireland event at DCU. Photo via FH Media Consulting

Girls Hack Ireland teaches almost 100 girls to code in one day (video)

23 Mar 2015

Almost 100 teenage girls attended the Girls Hack Ireland hackathon, which taught novices and improvers the skills needed to manipulate web pages and build whole websites from scratch.

The event, which was held in Dublin City University (DCU) on Saturday, 21 March, is one of a series of activities devised by DCU’s Insight Centre for Data Analytics to get female students more involved in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

President of DCU, Prof Brian MacCraith launched the event earlier that day, speaking to the young coders about the excitement of using knowledge to solve problems. He told that DCU was supporting Girls Hack Ireland because of its importance to STEM education and STEM careers into the future in Ireland.

“We are strong believers in addressing the gender imbalance at all levels in our society in STEM, in STEM careers and in academia,” he said. “We are acutely aware of gender imbalance and the ratio that needs to be addressed and changed as a matter of urgency.”

MacCraith added that encouraging girls to learn code in a fun and creative environment offered a good platform for introducing them to the opportunities that digital technology and innovation can open up.

“Enabling them with skills in digital tech is a fantastic way for them to find out that innovation can provide solutions and open up new career possibilities for them,” he added.

During the one-day hackathon, the girls were asked to build or revamp websites with a distinct Irish flavour and present their ideas to a panel of judges before a prize-giving ceremony.

The progress made in a short space of time was nothing short of impressive, and credit must be paid to the mentors who volunteered from industry, academia and groups such as the Digital Youth Council and CoderDojo to lend a hand.

Women Invent Tomorrow is Silicon Republic’s campaign to champion the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. It has been running since March 2013, and is kindly supported by Accenture Ireland, Intel, the Irish Research Council, ESB, Twitter, CoderDojo and Science Foundation Ireland.

Additional reporting by Claire O’Connell

Elaine Burke
By Elaine Burke

Elaine Burke was editor of Silicon Republic until 2023, and is now the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. Elaine joined Silicon Republic in 2011 as a journalist covering gadgets, new media and tech jobs. She later served as managing editor before stepping up as editor in 2019. She comes from a background in publishing and is known for being particularly pernickety when it comes to spelling and grammar – earning her the nickname, Critical Red Pen.

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