Session 2: Finances & Intro to Coding

Today’s session started with a weekly check-in, a time for each Go_Girl to share and discuss their weekly activities with the group.  After the check-in, we had an enlightening lesson on finances.  Some of the topics discussed were credit, interest rates, and good and bad debt.  We discussed the importance of being a responsible borrower, the problems that can ensue if credit payments are late or go unpaid, and the pitfalls of payday loans.  Mel provided contact information for the Oxford Citizens Advice Bureau as well as a list of very useful online resources for additional help and information on finances.  We will be exploring these issues in more depth in a future session.

The question “What are codes?” was posed to the girls to help them think about codes in everyday life.  In response to this question, they provided several excellent examples of codes, such as braille, music, barcodes, Enigma (the movie), algorithms, coordinates, etc.  They then participated in an introduction to coding exercise using plastic cups.  The girls worked in pairs, with one person acting as the computer and the other as the programmer (the one who writes the instructions or code), so that the computer knows what to do.  A symbol key, comprised of arrows in various directions, was used to write code for assembling the cups in a particular pattern.  A discussion about debugging code took place as the girls worked to ensure that their codes were accurate.  It was a fun day and next week’s activities will build upon what the girls learned in this session.

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