Helping Girls Build Websites

Megan Ng ’23 shares her desire to help girls in her community learn and use technology.

This summer 25 students were accepted in the CSGC grants program. These grants are funded due to the generous support of the Cost, Earle/Mendillo and Workman families, who established endowment funds to support the community and public service endeavors of future generations of Deerfield students. For more information on these grants please visit: https://deerfield.edu/csgc/grants.

Earlier this year, I planned on hosting coding workshops for local girls in Hong Kong during the summer. But as work from home became necessary during the COVID-19 outbreak, I decided to change my project to something girls could do at their own time and at home.

It didn’t take long for me to come up with something new. Even though technology and the Internet’s growing influence isn’t necessarily a good thing, their importance ever since the virus did inspire me with new ideas for the project. Websites play a major role in the internet’s existence, so I thought, what better way than helping girls build websites to expose them to technology? It fit my original goal of introducing local girls to tech early, and I also think it would be a more flexible and creative platform for girls to explore their interests along the way.

So, I got started with creating short and engaging video tutorials to teach these girls how to create a website with a platform I was familiar with already, WordPress.com. My target audience was girls in primary school. Ironically, my first student wasn’t a girl, but instead, my younger brother. He acted as my guinea pig throughout the couple of weeks I took to create 20 videos in English. Surprisingly, he tolerated the massive amounts of the color lavender I used in my website and videos, happily finished my entire course, and now has a newly created website of his own. His rather blunt feedback on which episodes were “boring” or not was genuinely helpful.

So far, I’ve finished my course in English and have launched it using Teachable, thanks to the CSGC grant! Looking ahead, I’ll have to work harder to find parents (and tutoring schools) interested in my course to kick my classes off and spread word about it. My goal is to also finish creating video tutorials in Cantonese, the native language in Hong Kong, so my course can reach more local students – my original target.

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