Inside a TechGirlz Virtual Workshop: Make a Website using HTML/CSS

Written by volunteer instructor Jackie Golden

Image of a desktop screen showing a video conference participants next to an online coding web app.

On April 22nd about 40 girls from around the country, in grades 5 through 8, came together virtually to learn the basics of HTML and CSS. Over the course of three hours, the girls learned how the internet works and how to write HTML and CSS tags, the code behind a website.

The virtual workshop began with a short introduction by the instructors and students followed by an introduction to Zoom. In an effort to ensure students were comfortable interacting virtually, how to use the Zoom chat window to ask any questions, how to mute or unmute, and how to minimize the Zoom window was reviewed.

The workshop curriculum was provided by TechGirlz’ TechShopz in a Box™ Program, which guides students through the processing of writing code. The process of building a website is a creative one so after learning a few frequently used HTML and CSS tags, the students were off and running experimenting with CodePen, an online code editor which lets students see the results of their work right away. The students learned how to make content easier to read by utilizing heading, paragraph and bullet tags. They learned how to add photos to their webpage and how to adjust the size of their photos. They also learned the power of CSS to change background color, increase/decrease font sizes, and position blocks of text on a webpage.

I’ve been a software developer for over 20 years and work at Princeton University leading a software development team. My career in technology has been a rewarding one and I felt compelled to share my experience in the hopes of educating young girls about the great opportunities available in technology for women. Thanks to TechGirlz, I’ve been able to do just that by facilitating workshops in my local area.

Due to the number of participants, I was assisted by three TA’s, Crystal, Ava and Nick who were all on hand to help answer questions students raised during the workshop, ranging from “How do I get to my CodePen site” to “Why is my code not working.” Although virtual instruction was a new format for most of the instructors, the girls walked away with a better understanding on how to build a website and hopefully, they’ll continue to seek out more learning opportunities in technology.

Thinking about becoming a virtual volunteer with TechGirlz? Register here!

Screenshot of grid of 5 volunteer instructors smiling