Nashua high schooler leads class after winning $3,000 scholarship
BEDFORD, NH – As Girl Scouts continue to strengthen programming
in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields, one
Nashua high schooler is putting her computer coding skills to work by
offering a free coding class to Girl Scouts online.
Coding Scouts is the result of a partnership between Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains – the council serving more than 10,000 girls in New Hampshire and Vermont – and the National Center for Women and Informational Technology - a national nonprofit focused on women's participation in computing.
Rebecca Zhu, 17, of Nashua, was awarded a $3,000 scholarship by the center, which she used to create Coding Scouts, a free three-week online class offered to Girl Scout Cadettes, who are in grades 6-8. It is open to Girl Scouts across the U.S.
Zhu has been interested in computers since she was in middle school at the Academy for Science and Design, where she met her co-instructors for the class, also rising seniors at Nashua High School South like Zhu. Anna Mathew, Sahana Darbhamulla, and Lavanya Dhavala assist Zhu by helping run the Zoom classes, including the more personal instruction they can provide through breakout rooms on Zoom.
“All four of us, we have the same goal in mind - to empower young women into STEM,” she said.
Zhu said she’s passionate about machine learning and artificial intelligence. “I would love to expand Coding Scouts to talk about artificial intelligence. It’s just so cool.” She added that if machine learning is used for good, it would have a lot positive implications for the future.
"Before I learned to code, it seemed magical,” she writes on her Coding Scouts page. “I realized that coding, just like art, is an outlet for me to be creative. Moreover, coding has the ability to positively impact the lives of others. I remember the feeling of satisfaction after completing my first coding project, which is what I want all girls to be able to experience. Now, more than ever, it is time for women to pursue their STEM interests."
Zhu’s interest and skills mesh perfectly with the Girl Scout mission to develop girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place, as well as strengthening the Girl Scout programming in STEM.
To learn more about Coding Scouts, see http://www.coding-scouts.com/
About Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains: Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is recognized throughout New Hampshire and Vermont as a leading expert on girls. Our Girl Scout Leadership Experience is a one-of-a-kind leadership development program for girls, with proven results. It is based on time-tested methods and research-backed programming that helps girls take the lead—in their own lives and in the world. Through our exciting and challenging programs, Girl Scouts not only participate but also take the lead in a range of activities—from kayaking, archery, and camping, to coding, robotics, financial literacy training, and beyond! Serving more than 10,000 girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. Visit www.girlscoutsgwm.org.