Sophomore seeks to broaden the coding community

Kendall Burk, Reporter

Sophomore Sirihassa (Siri) Nallamothu found her love for coding and STEM as a sixth grader and has never looked back. 

“The idea that I can make something of my own really interested me and it was a good creative outlet for me,” Nallamothu said. 

She took her first coding class at State Farm and it wasn’t what she expected. 

“I immediately noticed that not many people in the class looked like me,” she said. 

Being a female in this particular field has motivated Nallamothu to offer many different inclusive activities for females interested in coding. Specifically, she created a Girls who Code Club.

“I wanted to create a community and meet people with a shared interest,” Nallamothu said. Her  next interest would begin in the classroom, but not as the student this time. 

In 2019 and 2020, Nallamothu went to biology teacher Emily Telford, one of sponsors for the Girls in STEM club, and asked about teaching the members how to create their own website. 

“It’s rare to have a student, especially a female, know so much about coding,” Telford said.

In 2019, Nallamothu became the first member of Girls in STEM to teach the other members. 

Rylee Camp, who is a senior and Girls in STEM president, said that guest appearances at meetings are always a treat. 

“When guests come in it’s always an adult,” Camp said. “So it was really fun for me because it was student-led.” 

When it came time for the lesson, Camp said Nallamothu was confident and prepared. 

“She taught us the basics of common languages, specifically HTML, CSS, and JAVAScript,” Camp said. “There were a lot of steps for making the website font, color, and pictures. It was easy to follow along, and she would show us how to do it first and then we would do it.” 

Nallamothu finds joy in teaching others.

 “I love to see when the lightbulb goes off in their head and I get to see the joy on their face when they get it,” she said. 

As for what’s next: along with continuing to teach and grow her coding abilities over the next few years of high school, Telford believes that Nallamothu’s driven and detail-oriented personality will set her apart from others. 

“I had her in freshman Biology, and she puts a lot of time into her work and the things she turns in, which I know will be good for her career,” Telford said. 

Nallamothu sees herself in the future developing health technology that would aid doctors in diagnosing diseases earlier and more affordably, or possibly even starting her own health technology company.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, Nallamothu is not letting that stop her passion for teaching. 

“I’ve been teaching online. I think it’s a way to reach more people. It’s been more accessible. It’s definitely harder, but there’s ways around it,” she explained. 

With more females getting into coding and STEM, Nallamothu sees it as an opportunity to capitalize on sharing her knowledge with others.

“I would say with more girls getting into tech, it’s less lonely and I need to keep that going to continue to educate,” she said.” 

But her lessons are doing more than just informing others. 

“She inspired us,” Camp said. 

To read more about Nallamothu and see all the work she is pursuing, go to her website http://sirihaasa.glitch.me.