Seniors Karen Tu and Tiffany Chien featured in the film “Code Girl”


Chetana Ramaiyer

IMG_9346On Tuesday night, Nov. 3, guests attending the movie screening listen to Google employees make speeches. These guests ate their dinners, talked, and waited for the movie to begin.

At 5:55 p.m. on Nov. 3, the cafeteria at MVHS was almost empty. Anxiously waiting inside were seniors Karen Tu and Tiffany Chien, computer science teacher Debbie Frazier and several Google employees including Sara Goetz.

Five minutes later, at 6 p.m., students started trickling in, soon filling up the seats of the cafeteria. They were all gathered to watch the screening of the Google-sponsored film, “Code Girl”, which featured Tu and Chien.

The documentary followed teams in a competition called Technovations, where teams of girls developed their own apps throughout the 2015 season. The film advocates that anyone, especially girls, can do computer science and anything they want if they work for it. The film covered the competition from start to finish from preliminary brainstorming phases all the way to the business plans and final products.

“The purpose [of the movie] was to show you that anyone can [code and program],” Sara Goetz, a program manager at Google, said. “It’s not something that’s insurmountable and especially with this particular audience, since we had people who were in the competition in the room. It’s people you know who just had an idea, got inspired and worked together and worked really hard.”

IMG_9380MVHS seniors Karen Tu and Tiffany Chien were featured in the film “Code Girl” . The two girls came to the screening of the movie at MVHS on Nov. 3

Tu and Chien were also at the event, watching the movie they were in for the first time with everyone else. As they watched the film, Tu and Chien reminisced about their months of work in developing their app. Tu and Chien competed against teams of girls around the world, from Guadalajara, to Anaheim, to Massachusetts. The film followed these different teams and how they developed their app using the resources available to them.

“I thought [the screening] went really well,” Frazier said. “Everybody left with a smile on their face and hopefully we inspired some people to give [computer science] a try, if not to compete in Technovation, but to take a class, or talk to their friends who are interested in computers and learn a little something.”


IMG_9362Listening to Google employees’ speeches, the students were anxiously waiting to watch the screening of the new movie.

“It was really cool to interact with other people and hear their ideas first hand,” Tu said. “It was pretty inspiring to see, talk with, and meet other people who were solving real world problems,”

The girls hope that this film helps to inspire others to approach the field despite how intimidating it seems.

“The movie was trying to show that the lives of the people inside the competition weren’t anything specialthat anyone can do what they did,” Chien said.

Co-Reported by Chetana Ramaiyer and Tyler Lin