A Boolean Girl Instructor Story: Sydney

  • May 1 2024
  • Bryce
sydney teaching stem class at boolean girl

"Being yourself and showing yourself through the coding you are able to do… Boolean Girl made a great environment for that."

At Boolean Girl, female instructors create a unique and entertaining environment that allows students to further their STEM education. For many girls, working in STEM may be daunting in a male-dominated industry. However, the presence of female instructors succeeding in STEM fields at Boolean Girl camps shows girls that others who look like them are thriving in this space, and so can they. To better understand counselors' experiences at Boolean Girl, we sat down with Sydney VandeMeulebroecke. Sydney has worked at Boolean Girl for three summers and is attending graduate school while studying sustainable biomaterials.

At Boolean Girl, instructors combine hands-on activities with online lessons to create engaging programs for young learners. Speaking on her experience at Boolean, VandeMeulebroecke recounts, "Campers would come in and say that they didn't have the attention span to sit in front of a computer, and then we would go do this activity on a mat in front of the class, and it was super hands-on and movement-oriented… you could see that thought process clicked in their heads." For many campers who struggle with purely online learning, Boolean Girl provides a space that allows girls to express themselves and bring life to their creations through various hands-on activities. 

The non judgemental, welcoming environment at Boolean Girl allows campers to reach outside their comfort zone to talk to others to solve problems. VandeMeulebroecke says, "[T]he fact that they are able to be collaborative and make friends and be in a safe, fun camp space gets things clicking in their minds a lot faster… [girls would] be able to turn to the person next to them and teach that skill in a social, fun way… they don't realize what they are doing, but they are translating their skills." 

Growing up, Sydney participated in school-sponsored events that aimed to promote an interest in computer science. Still, she found that they often resulted in boredom and disinterest among many classmates. The lack of engagement turned many people away from STEM without recognizing all the paths they might miss out on. Although this type of learning has become commonplace in many classrooms throughout America, VandeMeulebroecke recognizes an exciting difference with Boolean Girl, "Boolean Girl has all these different courses you can take; you can code with lights, code with robots, code with games… it shows you how broadly you can use computer skills and makes it engaging and welcoming to everyone." 

At a time when women make up less than a third of the STEM workforce, Boolean Girl's programs are needed now more than ever to address the gender gap in these fields. VandeMeulebroecke says, "For girls, specifically, you aren't put in that space, Boolean Girl is a really important space where you can learn those technical skills where it is silly and fun…being in a space with all girls also makes it really special for a lot of them." 

As for her advice to kids interested in STEM, Sydney says, "Put yourself into the coding. Make it reflect you. I think a lot of people were not engaged because they didn't see themselves or their stories in their coding and Boolean Girl was an awesome outlet for [that]." VandeMeulebroecke sees many young people who cannot engage with the activities because they can't put themselves into their work. She encourages her students to personalize their activities and put their lives into their projects. In doing so, these students see the real-life application of their STEM activities, helping them further immerse themselves with Boolean Girl.

IMG_6701_OriginalCurrently, Sydney works with sustainable biomaterials and attends graduate school. Even in her current endeavors, Sydney believes her time at Boolean Girl has taught her how to effectively communicate with others and break complex things down into understandable parts. "If you can't break down a step further, you have to explain it in a different way… like you upload a file before you pull something from that file." As a counselor at Boolean Girl, Sydney worked to help kids from all backgrounds and levels of experience with STEM, and she believes this valuable experience will continue to support her going forward.

While Sydney's experience as an instructor allowed her to teach kids in a creative and unique environment, Boolean Girl's programs foster a sense of creativity for kids in STEM that may otherwise be impossible. In this way, Boolean Girl empowers young women to solve problems collaboratively and gain experience with engineering, coding, and computer science to address the gender gap in STEM fields. While it is essential to recognize how far the organization has come in providing a unique education to many communities, there is still a long way to go to empower young women in computer science and engineering. With your help, Boolean Girl can continue to touch the hearts and minds of young people around the globe.


“Boolean Girl showed me how broad stem education can be; you aren’t just sitting at a computer all day by yourself.”

To learn more about Boolean Girl and its programs, visit

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