Emma Koslow – Leading A Digital Skills Revolution
6th September 2017
How it All Began
Emma Koslow is a rising junior at Gill St. Bernards School and lives in Warren, New Jersey. She became hooked on computers when she started making PowerPoint presentations at four years old, but eventually she wanted to learn more.
After watching a show called CyberChase, Emma decided that she wanted to create a website all about the show. At the age of six, after learning coding through google searches and YouTube tutorials, she created a website using HTML. Ever since then, she has regularly learned new programming languages.
School and Code
When she reached elementary school and middle school, Emma was upset to learn that her schools did not have computer science related courses that involved coding. Because of this, she decided to take matters into her own hands and continued to teach herself programming.
Using websites like Codecademy and random tutorial blogs, Emma learned languages like Swift, Java Script, C, C#, C++, Python, MIT App Inventor and CSS. She didn’t tell others about her coding interest to avoid being teased!
After transferring schools in ninth grade, she was finally able to take a proper coding class and learned Java and BASIC.
The Present and the Future
Emma is currently the President and Founder of her school’s Girls Who Code club. She is also working on various programming organizations like Code Circle, where she is the Director of Curriculum, and coderGirls, where she is the Director of Communications.
She is also a Project Co-ordinator for Jersey Cares, (a group who organizes volunteer events for New Jersey residents), a member on her school’s robotics team, the Vice President of Religion at her temple’s youth advisory board, and is also on the teen board at her local library.
Emma is currently starting her own not-for-profit called Programming Pals, which yearns to teach code to those with disabilities and illnesses. It is her dream to work or create a company that creates software that will be accessible to those with illnesses and neurological disorders.
In addition to creating Programming Pals, Emma is in the process of developing a number of very exciting projects.
The first one is an animated short called Coding Needs Chicas which will be a no-dialog film that uses expressive animation and clarinet music to express the feelings and experience of a woman working in computer science.
The second project is a novel that takes little things that women in tech like and makes a list of them into a book called The Little Things (Not in Binary). She is also beginning to form a collaboration with NoticeAbility, an organization which helps teach different courses to students with dyslexia. Emma working with them to create their upcoming tech-related curriculums.
National Coding Week 2017
As an ambassador for National Coding Week 2017, Emma plans to incorporate Girls Who Code, Programming Pals, and her tech club into the week. As an advocate for Code.Org, Emma has experience in teaching students to code using basic yet exciting tutorials to help show them that they can tie coding into their hobbies and things that they love. This is what she plans to do for the National Coding Week.
She is also planning themed days with things like working with Raspberry Pis, having a coding pizza party, and Women in Tech advocacy days – great and memorable events that will show the students that programming can be fun and which shines a light on the creativity that is required in coding!
Tips for Others to Get into Coding
Nowadays, there are many different ways to get into coding. One way is to sign up for a class at school. With the new found awareness in computer science, many schools have begun to add coding courses to their curriculum. Also, websites like codecademy are also very useful to get into many different languages. Finally, signing up for clubs like Girls Who Code, Tech Teams, Robotics, and others are great ways to meet others in the tech community and to be introduced to different kinds of programming.