Speaking in code: Equality in Tech club promotes inclusivity

Senior+Adelia+Bergner+leafs+through+flyers+for+an+upcoming+women+in+tech+event+that+she+will+share+with+club+attendees.+She+started+the+group+along+with+Nitya+Thakkar%3A+%22We+decided+that+we+wanted+to+have+a+safe+space+in+the+club+where+people+could+come+and+talk+about+issues+that+they%E2%80%99re+facing+if+they+want+to+pursue+something+in+STEM%2C+but+also+to+have+an+environment+where+we+can+promote+inclusivity+in+the+world+of+tech%2C%22+Bergner+said.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Speaking in code: Equality in Tech club promotes inclusivity

Senior Adelia Bergner leafs through flyers for an upcoming women in tech event that she will share with club attendees. She started the group along with Nitya Thakkar:

Senior Adelia Bergner leafs through flyers for an upcoming women in tech event that she will share with club attendees. She started the group along with Nitya Thakkar: "We decided that we wanted to have a safe space in the club where people could come and talk about issues that they’re facing if they want to pursue something in STEM, but also to have an environment where we can promote inclusivity in the world of tech," Bergner said.

Maren Ostrem

Senior Adelia Bergner leafs through flyers for an upcoming women in tech event that she will share with club attendees. She started the group along with Nitya Thakkar: "We decided that we wanted to have a safe space in the club where people could come and talk about issues that they’re facing if they want to pursue something in STEM, but also to have an environment where we can promote inclusivity in the world of tech," Bergner said.

Maren Ostrem

Maren Ostrem

Senior Adelia Bergner leafs through flyers for an upcoming women in tech event that she will share with club attendees. She started the group along with Nitya Thakkar: "We decided that we wanted to have a safe space in the club where people could come and talk about issues that they’re facing if they want to pursue something in STEM, but also to have an environment where we can promote inclusivity in the world of tech," Bergner said.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Laser cutting, 3D printing, coding, artificial intelligence—all products of computer science. Computer science and engineering can be an incredible way to express oneself and channel creativity. The importance of STEM is something that seniors Adelia Bergner and Nitya Thakkar have believed in for a long time, but they noticed a group of students being excluded.

“Nitya and I decided to start the club because we recognized that there’s really a lack of support systems and resources for female-identified students in the SPA community who want to pursue STEM or more specifically computer science and engineering. We decided that we wanted to have a safe space in the club where people could come and talk about issues that they’re facing if they want to pursue something in STEM, but also to have an environment where we can promote inclusivity in the world of tech,” Bergner explained.

The STEM world has been heavily male-dominated for a long time. Bergner recalled a time in middle school when she and Thakkar attended an “Hour of Code” where all students were invited to develop their computer science skills. “We went [to Hour of Code] together and there were no other girls. When you’re a middle schooler, stuff like that can be really intimidating, when you feel like there’s no one like you around to support you, so we wanted to go to those events and have role models for younger girls to look up to.”

Bergner hopes to help balance the scale in the middle and lower school, not only the high school. “We are doing some partnerships with the lower and middle schools this year, and we wanted to incorporate mentorship into the club. We want to go to [Hour of Code] and have role models for younger girls to look up to. We’re also helping out with a Brownie troop at the lower school, who are pursuing Engineering and Computer Science Brownie badges now, so we’re helping them build robots for their Engineering badge. I think they’re going to come once a week up to the high school to work with us. We also want to put on an event there, maybe like something like Hour of Code or a little coding workshop, but just specifically for female-identifying students, so they can see older girls and have people to look up to, specifically to build that bond.”

Computer science, and engineering is about being creative, working together, working collaboratively which I think is a skill that most people at this school have.”

— Adelia Bergner

While Equality in Tech promotes gender inclusivity in the tech field, they are a club open to all genders.

“So far, we’ve only had female identifying students come, which is unfortunate because we definitely would love to have representation of people of all genders because we don’t want the conversation to be one-sided. I mean on the one hand we do want to have a supportive environment where girls can feel safe and comfortable talking about issues like this, but we also do want it to be a multi-faceted conversation, so hopefully, we’ll have more male members joining.”

As well as being open to all genders, the club is also open to people of all levels of experience. “We would love to have people who have no experience. We are organizing those activities like those laser cutter workshops where we want to do a basic Python workshop for people to come in. You can come in, stop by, go to one of our workshops, see if you like it, and then, go from there.”

Equality in Tech is planning other different events for this school year, including speakers, 3D printing and laser cutting workshops, along with others. “There’s a ‘Hackathon’ we were talking about which is a Saturday morning where a bunch of people just go and code in a convention, so that’s fun,” Bergner said.

Bergner hopes that everyone is able to try out the computer science resources in the Schilling Center and won’t be intimidated by lack of experience. “Computer science and engineering is about being creative, working together, working collaboratively which I think is a skill that most people at this school have, so you don’t necessarily have to have to have experience with the technical side of computer science. I think everyone can come to a meeting and feel right at home.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email