Code Girls United
Statement of Purpose
Help girls to become problem solvers through computer coding and business skills training.
Code Girls United provides training for girls in computer coding and business skills in order to give them practical technology expertise and problem solving skills.
To prepare young girls to be successful in a career that includes technology.
Our program focuses on 4th through 8th grade girls. At this age, girls are still exploring and finding out what types of topics interest them. Those that go through the program come out with a bolstered sense of confidence in their ability to work with technology. They are more likely to take computer classes offered by the school district in high school. Currently our local High Schools have less than 1% of girls in their available computer science courses. The Community College has less than 3% of girls in their available computer science courses.
Girls coming out of our program who are entering High School have a greater chance of starting computer science courses. These girls immediately will impact the percentage of girls in the High School programs. It is expected that those girls will also enroll in the Community College courses offered through a Running Start program. This immediately will impact their futures as they get college credit while still in High School. Even the girls who choose not to follow a path of Computer Science will have a literacy in Computer Science which is valuable in any occupation. More and more jobs have some sort of computer related skills. Having this exposure to Computer Science gives the girls those skills. Also important is giving the girls the opportunity to overcome the ‘nerd factor’ early in life. They know it's not just boys that can understand technology.
The percentage of women who go on to have careers in computer programming, software engineering, and technology has dramatically plummeted in the last many years. Exposing young girls to problem solving through coding and business skills, builds their confidence in the technical world, encouraging them to continue to seek out training in technology related fields.
The program consists of three basic parts:
Teaching the fundamentals of computer science. We use the Appinventor tool from MIT to teach girls how to build apps. We use a curriculum developed by a University of San Francisco professor to teach the fundamentals of Computer Science and also teach them the basics of coding.
Creating apps based on a community problem. Working in teams and following the standard business practices for any software entrepreneurial enterprise, the girls simulate a real work business environment. They do marketing research, talk to their communities, develop a plan, go through the entire development and design process, create a business plan that sums up their endeavor, and make formal presentations including demonstrations of their app. They learn skills that are not given in the school environment and are doing work that is compatible with many university level courses.
Competitions: The girls enter APP competitions.
Technovation offers an international competition, in which the teams business plan, functioning APP, and the video presentation of their idea and APP are judged against hundreds of teams around the world. Finalists are invited to a 3 day conference in Silicon Valley to further explore possibilities in the technology world.