AMELIA LOCKLEY | WhatNow Kidtuber | Auckland
Q. How did you get into coding? What is your advice for girls and omg children who want to be coders?
I discovered coding around 4 years ago when I was in a STEM school holiday program called The Mind Lab. At the holiday programme I really enjoyed the coding and robotics area and wanted to do some more. I'm very fortunate that my dad works in IT and knew where to go. He found me a coding club at a place called Orion Health which was part of Code Club Aotearoa, and I decided that I would go and have a try. After the first time I never wanted to stop. I loved it!
We need to encourage more girls into STEM and coding. Parents and teachers should encourage and expose their girls and young women to STEM related subjects otherwise the gap between boys and girls in the industry will keep on growing. If you are a girl be involved and be brave and take that first small step of joining a club. I know you will enjoy coding as much as I do.
Q. Tell us about a rad piece of code that you’ve written? What are you most proud of?
Last year, with the help of the club’s volunteer mentors, I made a web application to help immigrants settle in New Zealand. It is not 100% finished yet but I endeavour to complete it. Coding has taken me to so many places and given me amazing opportunities that I am thankful for. I went to Parliament during Techweek last year and gave a speech and helped teach MPs how to code. I have met so many awesome people, including Dr Michelle Dickinson aka Nanogirl who is my biggest role model. Having a role model is very important to inspire me on my journey and I believe this applies to everyone. I’m also proud to be one of the WhatNow Kidtubers! As a kidtuber I make videos to do with STEM, and that are aimed at teaching younger kids.
Q. What big dreams do you have as a coder?
In the future I want be a Mechatronic Engineer and work somewhere like NASA or Rocket Lab. This is my dream goal because I find space and technology so interesting and fascinating. Just think – by using technology we can explore space in so many new ways. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to meet Peter Beck, the founder of Rocket Lab. His belief in what he wanted to do since a young age, becoming a rocket scientist, despite people not taking him seriously is inspirational.
"Every child should have
the opportunity to learn to code"
I truly believe that every child should have access to technology. Having access to technology becomes a basic need just like having access to electricity and running water, especially as we are living in a digital world now. Every child should also have the opportunity to learn to code at school, just as they learn how to count or write. We use STEM and coding in our everyday lives already, and technology will only become more advanced and used in a wider range of things. When my generation grows up there will be so many more jobs and opportunities that technology has created.