My district, Coeur d'Alene School District, is contributing to a partnership with our local university to develop a coding program for our school aged students. The purpose is to gain interest in coding by young students in our area, and the long range goal is to expand the program into all parts of our surrounding region. In as planning meeting today, it was decided to begin with a small summer program targeted to middle school aged female students. I wanted to reach out to my extended BSU Ed Tech community and ask about any females that are in the field of IT or software coding that may be interested in helping out or providing information that could be helpful to the program. The organizers are looking to figure out how to make it appealing to this demographic and then continue the program to make it sustainable and have it reach a much wider group in the future.
Any thoughts or anyone interested in helping out would be great!
I'm not a female responding to the program but I wanted to say hello. Hope all is going well with your new position. Yesterday in Desert Hot Springs it was in the 90's. I bet you don't miss that. I will tell the gang I heard from you.
Not sure exactly what the parameters are for what you need (ie are you teaching a specific language?), but as far as making it appealing what about using Gamemaker? The kids would be creating games, so it's not just about boring coding for the sake of coding (has anyone ever really wanted to say hello to the world??) but for the sake of accomplishing a goal, which is what coding is about in the real world.
You can start with the beginner's interface using mostly drag and drop commands, to teach logic and problem solving without getting bogged down in syntax. Then you can switch to the Advanced interface and let them code their own stuff (this can actually also be done within the Beginner's interface as well).
Game making does appeal to both boys and girls, obviously not to every boy and girl but neither does coding. You're never going to appeal to everyone anyway.
I've only done this once so far and it was a very small group, but the interest rate was VERY high (it was mixed though, both boys and girls).