Elementary schools are getting girls interested in coding through clubs which encourage them to pursue their abilities in computer programming and explore possible future careers in STEM fields.
In Middle Georgia, the Real Girls Code Club at Ingram-Pye Elementary and the Girls Who Code club at Weslayan College are keeping girls interested in science, technology, engineering, and math, and providing positive reinforcement for their interests and abilities.
The two clubs are in Macon. One is for third through fifth graders and the other for high school students.
According to Wesleyan math professor Randy Heaton who leads the Girls Who Code chapter, young girls do not get the same reinforcement and encouragement often as boys do. “If a young girl is left with the impression that tinkering is a boy’s thing, that can really inhibit them from doing something they find enjoyable,” he said.
The club for elementary students at Ingram-Pye is a partnership with the Real IMPACT Center. The center hosts camps, workshops, and a robotics program.
“They’re learning the language of code to tell the computer what to do,” said founder and Executive Director Geneva West. “They find their niche, and they keep it and they go with it.
“They’re in the room with like-minded girls. They’re not in competition.”