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.