Vancouver Island Regional Library is hosting a Scratch coding contest for young women to promote science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics education. The contest runs until March 31. (News Bulletin file)

Vancouver Island Regional Library is hosting a Scratch coding contest for young women to promote science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics education. The contest runs until March 31. (News Bulletin file)

VIRL organizes coding contest for girls and young women

Vancouver Island Regional Library hosting Scratch contest this month

Until the end of March, girls and women 19 or under can sign up for Vancouver Island Regional Library’s STEAM Scratch Contest.

The contest kicked off on International Women’s Day, March 8, and invites participants to use the code block building interface, Scratch, to build an animation, story, video game on whatever inspires them.

Scratch is a free, open-source coding program, developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab that can be applied to create interactive stories, games and animations and share them online. The program is based on a visual programming language to help young people develop creative thinking, systematic reasoning and to work collaboratively with others, according to the MIT Scratch web page.

“The fields of computer programming and coding are still largely dominated by men,” said Dalia Levy, Vancouver Island Regional Library information technician and event creator, in a press release. “This contest is all about letting young women explore their creativity and passions and potentially hook into a new career path or life-long interest. There are also some great prizes for some of the lucky coders.”

Prizes include a $50 gift card to Best Buy and more.

Until March 31, individuals and groups can submit their work for the contest to cc@virl.bc.ca. Multiple entries are encouraged from all participants. For more information about the event, visit the VIRL website at http://virl.bc.ca.

To learn more about Scratch programming, visit MIT Media Labs’ Scratch web page at http://scratch.mit.edu.



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