Today, we want to share with you the story of four of those people — sisters Bella (11 years of age), Rebecca (14), Charlotte (16), and Georgia (18) who hail from the Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry region of Eastern Ontario.
The Reed sisters are gifted coders who have been attending Ladies and Girls Learning Code workshops, since Chapter Lead Kelly Bergeron launched a Cornwall Chapter in November of 2016. These talented and passionate young women are not only mainstays at our workshops, but have also become regular participants at local hackathons. In fact, Charlotte recently took home 1st prize with her team at one of those hackathons!
“We couldn’t be more proud of these local girls who are taking their coding skills to the next level,” gushed Chapter Lead Kelly Bergeron as she shared with us the story of the Reed sisters. Eager to share that positivity and inspiration with the Ladies Learning Code community across Canada, Kelly recently sat down with Bella, Rebecca, Charlotte and Georgia to learn more about their journey and their hopes for the future.
Check it out!
At what age did you become interested in technology and what is it that made you interested in technology?
Bella: I started around grade three. My sisters were learning how to code and I thought it would be fun.
Rebecca: I probably became interested in grade 4 or 5 and it was when Charlotte came home from coding camp and taught me how to use Python.
Charlotte: I was in grade 5 or 6 when I learned Scratch, and then I took a weekend program during the summer where I learned how to use Python. I also participated in the grade 9 “Take Your Kid to Work Day” where I went to my Dad’s work and programmed PLCs and in C# using the Microsoft IDE, but by grade nine I was always interested in coding.
Georgia: I first was introduced to coding when I went to grade 9 “Take Your Kid to Work Day” where I went to my dad’s work. There I used the Microsoft IDE to program in C++, and I found it really fun, so I enrolled in the grade 11 course at school, and then I continued with the grade 12 course. I really like it.
What are some of your favourite things to build digitally?
Bella: I like building games in Scratch!
Charlotte: I like to program in Python. I have a few books that I have read, and I used them to help me with my Raspberry Pi; I have a camera and some lights that I hooked up to my Raspberry Pi. I also use Unity with C# to create little games. I took grade 11 computer science in grade nine, and grade 12 computer science last year; there we programmed in Visual Basic.
Georgia: I make a lot of animations and stop motion videos. I also enjoy playing around with Visual Basic as it is the language I used in school. I was working on a game, but I haven’t finished it yet. I’m thinking this summer to get back on track again with that.
As a family with 4 sisters immersed in tech, how do you work together and support each other?
Bella: Well, if one of us need something we always try to ask each other for help.
Rebecca: Charlotte helped me learn Python, and she taught me pretty much all who I know in Python. Bella and I sometimes do Scratch stuff together.
Charlotte: Georgia and Rebecca and I have gone to some workshops, and we have learned programming together. If one of us needs help we help each other out.
Georgia: We help each other when we need to, and we work on projects together. It is a ‘sisterly’ thing for us.
Do you have plans to attend university in this field?
Bella: Yes, I love making games in Scratch, and I probably will because I like coding, but I don’t really know what I will do in University.
Rebecca: I want to be an engineer but I’m not sure what kind of engineer, or I might go into computer programming.
Charlotte: I am interested in going to Waterloo or the University of Toronto. At the moment I am thinking of Software Engineering.
Georgia, how did you decide on going to Queen’s University?
In grade 11 I went to the open house for Queen’s University, and they had a display for a computer program that they used in the hospitals. A second-year student had worked on a program to find breast cancer, and it was actually being used in the hospitals in Kingston; it was fascinating. I also visited the computer programing lab, and I was really impressed with the projects the student were working on. I wanted to work on similar projects.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years in coding?
Bella: I want to be as good as my sisters, and I’d like to make an app for my phone.
Rebecca: My dad and I are going to create and program a robot.
Charlotte: I would like to become a software engineer or maybe go into robotics.
Georgia: I really want to help people. One day I want to apply my skills to either help create robots for surgery or applications to diagnose or help people with disabilities.
Thank you to Cornwall Chapter Lead Kelly Bergeron for capturing the story of these remarkable young women! And thanks to Framed Photography for the beautiful images! To learn more about Ladies Learning Code’s adult and youth workshops in your area, visit ladieslearningcode.com/events