The two week long Black Girls CODE summer camp has been a place where girls of color who feel like outsiders can just be themselves and enjoy working with math, coding, and computers.
By teaching black girls to code, the Oakland summer camp prepares them for STEM careers in an environment where they can be encouraged and not feel like outsiders.
“I like to stay late after class to study my math and science because they are my favorite subjects,” said Nina Marie Rice, who is going into sixth grade. “Boys mock me because they say math and science aren’t girl things. They’re for boys, but I don’t listen.” She is one of two African-American students at her Christian school in Alameda. A science nerd, she gets picked on quite a bit, and found that being with other girls like herself over two weeks was wonderful.
The camp costs $300 per participant, and most of the 75 girls of color who attend at Redwood Day School receive scholarships.
Students learned about web design, mobile app development, robotics, virtual reality, and 3D printing. They met employees at Apple, YouTube, and Electronic Arts, and had a coding session at Dropbox.