This post has been written by Eve who attended our Outbox 2020 programme that ran throughout August 2020.

Kelly Thomson & Jen Wallace from Leidos joined a session with the Outbox Junior stream this August

I’ve always been a do-er.  As a young child, my summer holidays were filled with Mad Science camps and extracurricular’s.  STEM club and Crest Awards filled my time after school.  The desire to try new things has never really left me.

When I found out about Stemettes’ Outbox program, it was a no-brainer!  Two weeks of focused learning, meeting those in industry, and a Python qualification to round it all up.  The last time I had studied Python was in Year 6.  Six years on and my lockdown summer was the perfect time to dive back into coding and expand my skills.

Every morning, I started my day by meeting a STEM role model, whether from Bank Of America, the Linnean Society, or even GCHQ! Following on from that, it was time to focus, with tutorials from the Open University, in preparation for achieving an entry-level certificate in Python.  I learnt about how to write ‘for’ loops, if/else/elif statements, how to use boolean logic, and how to do calculations in binary.

I particularly enjoyed combining maths and computer science when I wrote a program to run Collatz’s conjecture, in which you take any positive integer and if it is odd, you multiply it by 3 and add one (3n+1) and if it’s even then you divide by two.  You then repeat the same process with the result you obtain and, interestingly, eventually, you get 1. After a quick break for lunch, it was time to meet more inspiring role models and work with other young people taking the course.  It was great to get to work through examples together and hear everyone’s plans for the future!

My journey learning Python in Outbox 2020 has reinvigorated my passion for coding and inspired a major decision in my life: I am now planning to study computer science alongside maths at University. However, it’s not just that.  This process has allowed me to surround myself with like-minded individuals and share my passion for STEM in a friendly and collaborative environment.

By Eve, 17

Check out our video documenting the fun we had on Outbox 2020 Sprint B (17th August – 30th August)

Here is some feedback from the programme…

A total of 366 young people joined our Outbox Programme!
The attendees rated the experience 9.1/10
92% now feel more confident in their STEM abilities 
98% learnt something new about STEM 
Attendees joined from more than 10 countries around the world including: Burkina Faso, Canada, Czech Republic, India, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Niger, USA and Zimbabwe

50 young people gained a Cisco Cyber certification
55 young people worked towards a PCEP Python certification

Sessions and content from Outbox and our STEM Mode In Lockdown sessions will be available across our Stemettes Zine. Why not check it out?

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