CCA Girls Who Code concludes year-long ‘Girls in STEM’ online education programs


The Girls Who Code Club at Canyon Crest Academy and the Ravenettes Affiliate Female Robotics Team ended a productive year with several distance learning programs to provide STEM education to students in the San Dieguito School District during the pandemic. Led by Samantha Prestrelski (President) and Alexis Wu (Vice President), the CCA Girls Who Code team began bringing their educational outreach programs online to the school closure in March 2020. The effort s ‘is transformed into a one-year “Girls in STEM”. program with weekly online classes in Java programming and embedded systems open to all girls in the district during the 2020-2021 school year.

Practical projects carried out in distance learning.


The Java programming program was led by Alexis Wu and Sarah Golts, both seniors at CCA. The three semester-long online sessions began in March 2020 and served over 100 students at 15 San Diego County schools. Students learned programming concepts through hands-on coding practice with games, cryptography, and other computer applications.

The Embedded Systems Workshops were designed and taught by club mentor Stefan Prestrelski, Torrey Pines High School graduate and UC Berkeley College of Engineering student, and co-led by Sarah Luo, Junior CCA and captain of the Ravenettes robotics team. These bi-monthly workshops are designed for middle and high school students to learn programming, mechanical and electrical concepts through circuit construction and project-based embedded systems applications.

“We decided to create the Girls in STEM online program to fill the learning gap during school closures and provide girls with access to the skills needed to pursue careers in tech,” said Samantha Prestrelski, club president and director of the Girls in STEM program. “We are grateful to our sponsors, BrainCorp and Qualcomm, who have enabled us to create and deliver computer education programs during the pandemic, free of charge, to any girl in our community who wishes to participate. “

“As a team advisor since the club’s inception at the CLA, I have had the privilege of experiencing its growth, which is primarily due to the dedication of the club’s past and current leaders,” said Tony Mauro, advisor both Club Who Code girls and Ravenettes robotics team. “It’s truly inspiring to see how innovative management has been in creating an engaging program, even in the face of restrictions in place over the past year. While I will miss Samantha and Alexis’ leadership, I look forward to working with Sarah to continue the established legacy.

The Girls in STEM program will offer a series of beginner and advanced workshops on embedded systems this summer for new and prospective students. The program will start at the end of June and end in August. Topics include electronics theory, DC motors, sensors, circuits, and other topics relevant to electrical control systems. If you or your student is interested in participating, or would like information regarding the robotics club or team, please visit the CCA Girls Who Code website at For more information on the program, contact Sarah Luo (President Elect) or Samantha Prestrelski (Incoming Team Coach) at

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