3waalm, The First Summer Tech Camp for Girls at KSU

One summer day in 2016, I was sitting backstage in the Grand Hall of King Saud University in Riyadh, proudly watching 46 young women walk the graduation ceremony of ‘Awaalim, the first annual summer tech camp for girls in the University. It had taken me and three of my colleagues (Lama Alsum, Monirah Alajlan, and Hailah Almazrou) three months to prepare for that moment. The idea of founding a summer tech camp for young women originated from our strong belief in the importance of empowering Saudi women to be better represented in STEM. The camp targets middle and high school students in hopes of sparking their interest in pursuing careers in science and technology. We were very careful creating our 25 hours intensive program, spanning areas like: coding, data management, artificial intelligence, and robotics. Each workshop encapsulated a hands-on fun challenge. What is the fastest way to sort a stack of books? Can you code a robot to dance to the rhythm of your favorite song? Which is the team whose robot will escape the maze first? In its first cycle, ‘Awaalim was well received. It attracted positive attention from local press as well as a generous funding from Badir Incubator and Accelerator Program and Elm Corporation. ‘Awaalim has been growing since then. In the last cycle, the number of graduates increased to more than 60.
It is one of my most enjoyable experiences as it allowed me to teach computer science in a creative way.
Latest news about 3waalm can be found at: http://3waalm.com/
Videos and materials from the camp can be found at: https://twitter.com/3waalm

 

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