The coolest initiatives for kids, gender equality and coding
Writing the Gender Equality in Tech Blog has, of course, meant that we’re constantly writing about cool new ideas for making tech more inclusive and gender-equal. We write about companies’ equality work, debunking myths about women in tech, understanding bias, supporting entrepreneurship, and pretty much everything that has an impact on equality in tech. But where the industry has seen an absolute explosion in innovation for gender equality has been in initiatives to get more kids, specifically girls, to code.
If you’re a parent, aunt, uncle, teacher, supporter of youth organizations, or just looking for some inspiration and/or cool videos to check out during lunch, check out the below organizations. A lot of them have inspiring and/or hilarious videos on their websites. Also, one Swedish organization that we’ve previously written about here, is Hello World! - summer coding camps for kids in Stockholm.
Launched in 2011, BGC hosts classes and programs for young girls from underrepresented communities to learn coding languages like Scratch and Ruby on Rails. Their goal is to help grow the number of women of color working in technology, and also help solve the digital divide (the gap between people with regular access to tech and those without). This, for example, is exemplified in the stat that 66% of Latinos in the US have access to a computer at home, vs 88% of Caucasians.
Technovation is an international pitch competition for young girls to develop an app in teams of 1-5 people. The app must solve a community problem or issue, and getting involved does not require any coding experience. This year’s finalists will pitch their app July 13-14th in Silicon Valley. This year’s finalists are high schoolers age 19 or younger from Kazakhstan, Mexico, the US, and Kenya, and middle schoolers age 14 or below from Cameroon, India, Canada and the US. So cool!
Kids Hack Day is a workshop concept, where the workshop organizer gets a bunch of kids age 7-15 to build and program their own tiny robot. Headquartered in Sweden, this cool concept has quickly spread globally to 12 countries. The concept is very Do-it Yourself - and they have a video for how to organize a Kid’s Hack Day. Feel free to start your own!
This is one of the most famous coding initiatives for girls in the US. They run a 7-week summer immersion program for girls, for instance. Their results are amazing - a full 90% of the girls who participated went on to major in Computer Science. In addition, they also run clubs for girls to code together.
They’ve also recently launched a hilarious series of satirical videos tackling stereotypes about girls and coding. A lunchtime must watch. My fave quote: “I can’t code because my long eyelashes make it hard to see the screen.”
Made With Code is a project sponsored by Google (who also sponsors this blog) to show all the cool things that coding can do. I love their website, with a beautiful video demonstrating all the cool stuff that you can do with code. Their tagline is “Things you love are made with code.”
Get the GET Blog weekly here.