Scratching the surface of imagination through technology

9.2.17.GS.FBEnterprise IT interns recently helped local students explore a new world and language without ever leaving the city.

This summer, Enterprise Holdings IT partnered with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri to teach students how to code using Scratch technology at one of IT’s campuses in St. Louis.

Scratch is a programming language used to create interactive stories, games and animations and provide a stepping stone to the world of computer programming.

Thirty-five Girl Scouts, from kindergarten to 8th grade, broke into teams and spent the day creating video games, learning how to code and strengthening their programming skills under the guidance of IT interns.

“Encouraging young children, especially girls, to get creative with technology and consider technology as a future career option is so important,” said Alysa M., Senior Manager in Workforce Services, who served as one of the organizers of the event. “The majority of the girls were learning the programming for the first time that day, and it was impressive how quickly they picked it up.”

Carolyn Kindle, SVP and Executive Director of the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, spoke to the girls at the event and encouraged them to continue STEM learning (science, technology, engineering and math).

At the end of the day, the teams presented their video game creations. They were scored by a panel of IT leaders, ribbons were awarded for the top scores, and everyone received a custom Girl Scouts Scratchathon patch.

“I was really impressed with how much the girls learned in such a short period of time, which is a real credit to the IT interns who guided them along,” said Cindy H., IT Director.

As if teaching kids the power of new technology wasn’t a gift on its own: The interns scored bags of Girl Scout cookies as a token of thanks.

Thirty-nine interns joined this year’s IT summer program. The team engaged in a variety of project work, professional and technical development, and a few social and community events.