Resources for Girls Learning to Code

This morning littleBits released their Space Kit. I’ve been on the board of littleBits since last year and am just in awe of what the team, led by Ayah Bdeir, is cranking out. Ayah is an example of an amazing female entrepreneur and CEO. I first met her via Joanne Wilson who wrote about here here. I hope to work with her for a long time.

Seeing the launch inspired me to go dig up a list of resourced for girls learning to code. Ever since I first got involved in National Center for Women & Information Technology, I’ve been deep in the problem of underrepresentation of women in computer science and entrepreneurship. Lucy Sanders, the CEO of NWCIT, has taught me a huge amount about this and I’ve worked closely with her as chair of the organization to try to make a difference around this issue.

I regularly get asked for resources for girls who are interested in learning how to write software. Following is a list curated by Lucy.

While many of these apply to boys as well, it’s a great list if you have a daughter who is interested in learning more about coding. It’s by no means comprehensive – if you have other suggestions, please leave them in the comments.

Girl and Women Specific

Concepts

Learn to Code

Intro to Computer Science

  • http://byJess.net/ Jess Bachman

    I want to like littleBits but I just can’t get behind that price tag. It’s just priced out of range for so many families, which is unfortunate. $10-20 per module, some of which are just a single LED.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      I don’t think the kit prices are unreasonable at all for what they are. It’s good feedback that it feels priced too high for you, but the market response doesn’t seem to indicate that.

      • http://byJess.net/ Jess Bachman

        It’s not too high for me at all. I just feel uncomfortable with educational toys that are out of range of the middle class. I dunno, its just how I was raised. I have no doubt littleBits does well in an affluent market.

  • http://www.feld.com bfeld

    Ayah @ littleBits pointed me at the littleBits Logic module – http://littlebits.cc/lets-get-logical

  • Chris Horton

    I would also check your local hackerspace. For example, Crash Space in Culver City has run a Coding for Girls class, and has a free weekly Learn to Code With Us event open to anyone.

  • http://mikesoltys.com mrsoltys

    Have you seen the LilyPad? Pretty cool stuff out of the MIT Media Lab marketed towards women. http://lilypadarduino.org/

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Yup – it’s neat.

  • Jeff Bodle

    http://www.girldevelopit.com/ – @girldevelopit
    and their various local chapters including Girl Developit Philly http://www.girldevelopit.com/chapters/philadelphia
    @gdiphilly are empowering women of diverse backgrounds from around the world to learn how to develop software

    http://www.techgirlz.org/ – @TechGirlzorg –
    dedicated to helping adolescent girls understand that a future in technology does not necessarily equate to ‘a boring computer job,’ but instead transcends the cubicle into nearly every field imaginable

  • nihal mehta

    Don’t forget @GirlsWhoCode!

  • CarlPetrou

    CoderDojo (http://coderdojo.com/) is another great place where girls can learn and be inspired what’s possible through coding…and then the immersive collaboration begins.

    Free for everyone – it doesn’t cost anything to attend and join in.

    • Mike Gym Bianchi

      Some of my friend’s kids go to that one. It really is amazing how fast they learn in such a chilled out environment.

  • ElisaMillerOut

    Great post, Brad! Tynker also looks cool, but I haven’t tried it with my daughters yet. They’re 6 and 9 and really like playing with SCRATCH and enjoy littleBits and Arduino too. SCRATCH is definitely their favorite though. GoldieBlox is also awesome. The girls have done a couple of workshops at our local maker space too: Ithaca Generator.

  • Scott

    Curious as to what video company they used.

  • http://andypalmer.com Andy Palmer

    For women based in London, there’s http://codebar.io and http://techmums.co/

  • http://trishofalltrades.tumblr.com/ Trish Fontanilla

    Have you heard of the Technovation Challenge? It pairs up women in tech with middle/high school girls to create STEM apps (Android or iOS). It’s not just the coding side… it takes them through coming up with a name, marketing plan, business plan, user research, etc, and creating the app through MIT’s App Inventor. They do regional pitches, then the winners go to world pitches in SF to get seed funding. There’s also a “career day” so the girls learn about the different jobs women can have in tech. 842 teams from all over the world this year! This is my 3rd year mentoring, and I’ve worked with teams in Boston (world finalists last year!) and SF.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Nope – but thx for passing it on.

  • http://gosphero.com Paul Berberian
  • Broker Miller

    They need more centers especially in urban and non urban centers.

    Brooke

    http://brokerdealer.com

  • http://edgy.co Tara Husband

    Thanks for the list! We have a group of pre-teen girls flying through coding, robotics and high-school math in Palm Beach, Florida. I’m sure we’re not alone out there. :)

  • Jennifer McFadden

    Skillcrush…http://www.skillcrush.com

    HTML/CSS, Javascript and soon-to-launch Ruby.

    By women, for women ;)