All Together SWE – Learn how nonprofit “Boolean Girl” is bringing diversity to tech by engaging girls and under-represented groups with meaningful, hands-on instruction and sustained exposure to computer science and engineering.
First, the good news: girls love coding. Now, for the bad news: educators face far too many obstacles in teaching girls to code, and low-income families suffer most of all. I’m co-founder of Boolean Girl, a non-profit whose mission is bringing diversity to tech by engaging girls and under-represented groups in grades three through eight with meaningful, hands-on instruction and sustained exposure to computer science and engineering in a collaborative and welcoming environment. We provide enrichment classes, camps, special events, partnerships and online education. In 2014, our organization got its start teaching girls from the families in our neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia. We paid attention to what the girls liked and didn’t, and we slowly refined our content as we taught larger and larger groups. Since those early days, we’ve taught thousands of girls in camps, schools and online, and we’ve found a couple of broad themes: girls tend to like projects that have a story, they tend to gravitate toward collaborative work, and they tend to be less interested in skill-based video games like ping pong. So we built our teaching content around those interests. (Of course, every child is unique. If a child doesn’t conform to these themes, they have plenty of freedom to code in whatever way works for them. We believe in creativity, not cookie-cutters.)..”