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Workshops like Adventures of Sustainable Sheroes are designed to empower students with skills to save the planet

There is an opportunity gap for Black women and girls in tech, and Black Girls CODE is taking action to close that gap and show the world that Black girls can code, lead, innovate, and engineer their own futures. The Black Girls CODE mission is to provide pathways for young women of color to embrace the current tech marketplace as builders and creators by introducing them to skills in computer programming and technology.

IBM and Call for Code are proud supporters of Black Girls CODE. For the third year in a row, IBM and Call for Code successfully held three workshops (2 in-person and one virtual) with Black Girls CODE, including the Call for Code: Black Girls CODE Sustainability Challenge.

June was a very busy and rewarding month for the collaboration with Black Girls CODE, with Call for Code and IBM leaders co-presenting at two in-person workshops in Atlanta on June 3rd and in Dallas on June 10th. These workshops were held for girls ages 9-17 and the theme was “Adventures of Sustainable Sheroes.” The students, or “Tech Bosses,” learned about issues impacting sustainability, such as reducing our carbon footprint and improving access to clean water. They also learned important skills like effective storytelling. Then they worked through a guided project and learned how to code a visual, graphic story featuring IBM embeddable AI. The girls put together great stories about Sheroes saving the coral reefs, turtles, and more! They also heard from real life IBM Sheroes Ruth Davis (Atlanta) and Lauren Quigley (Dallas) who inspired and encouraged them to embrace their learning journey. The workshop was also repeated virtually on September 16 so that more girls coulld participate. The Tech Bosses were excited to be able to share their completed visual stories with others to inspire them to be sustainability heroes too!

Finally, the valuable lessons learned in the June and September workshops were put to use as the Tech Bosses participated in the 3-day Call for Code + Black Girls CODE Sustainability Challenge on October 13 – 15. This year’s Challenge required the Tech Bosses to use IBM AI technology and submit at least 20 lines of code along with a recorded video presentation and a 250-word description of their code-based solution. With the help of IBM mentors, this challenge had teams create practical and effective applications based on IBM technologies that can have an immediate and lasting impact addressing a sustainability issue.

This year’s challenge winners, Dellsea Hall (9), Ifeoluwa Joseph (14), Enitan Oweh (16), and Kennedi Wilson (17) sought to improve food insecurity locally by creating Sustainable Stars, an interactive website made possible by watsonx Assistant. The team took home the grand prize with this user-friendly website, created to be an educational resource people can use to find locations for food donations. To expand more opportunities to reduce food waste, the website can also help farmers or co-ops — grocery stores owned by members of the community — donate their excess food. Congratulations to team Sustainable Stars for their impressive solution!

2023 Call for Code and Black Girls CODE winners

Visit the Black Girls CODE “Events” page to learn more about other upcoming events.