Friday, December 12, 2014
My all girls STEM class can code!
This week my 6th grade all girls STEM class participated in The Hour of Code—which was a great end to our Gaming and Computer Science Unit this semester.
I actually let my girls code all week, so we did more than just an hour—we coded in total for about 4 hours. The girls were able to see all kinds of tutorials and create thousands of lines of code. Each day I started them out with a video, some were from Code.org and others were ones I found on the internet. One day we saw a parody about Coding with Anna and Elsa from Frozen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weRX_Fv7BRU, another day we saw a video from Reshma Saujani—the Founder from Girls Who Code: http://www.makers.com/reshma-saujani. These videos provide some very interesting discussions from my girls where we decided that we need stronger girl avatars that conquer or lead. We want to see less “Princess Peach” and more everyday heroes. The girls enjoyed the videos because they were inspiring and made them realize that coding is for everyone—boys or girls, no matter how old or how famous you are.
I loved hearing them talk each day about going home and doing more tutorials from Code.org. Almost half of the class reported downloading one of the apps to their devices. That was not a requirement, but they just loved coding!
I gave them a survey today and 100% of my girls enjoyed learning about coding with Hour of Code. 93.75% of girls surveyed reported that “Girls can code just as well as boys can.” I also asked them why they thought that girls don’t typically take programming or coding classes in school. Some girls stated that they didn’t want to be seen as dorky, or that computers are a “boy thing.” My favorite response was, "because they (girls) think they are weak and we (girls) are not. Girls are STRONG."
Seeing the girls having so much fun and learning together made my heart happy. They truly loved coding this week and I think we are in for a great second semester!
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