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Google's Made with Code encourages girls to embrace computer science

Steve Dent, @stevetdent
June 19, 2014
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Less than one percent of high school girls are interested in computer science, but Google wants to alter that script with a new initiative called Made with Code. Created in conjunction with heavy hitters like the MIT Media Lab, Chelsea Clinton and the Girl Scouts of the USA, the campaign connects girls with coding resources, inspirational videos and more. The effort sprung from Google's own research showing that kids are more likely to get excited about computer science if they try it at an early age and are shown how it can benefit their careers. It hopes the effort will help girls to not just consume technology, but also use it as a creation tool in whichever profession they choose.

One project will have girls designing 3D-printed Shapeways bracelets using Blockly visual coding and creating animated GIFs or music beats. Meanwhile, The Girl Scouts will introduce its network to Made with Code and encourage them to complete their first coding experience. There are also videos featuring high-achieving women who use programming to fight cancer, create 3D animations and design dance sets, to name a few. Google has also created resources for parents and put aside $50 million over three years to encourage female students to get into computer science. The event will kick off tonight in New York with 100 local teenage girls, who'll try some coding first-hand and see it used by women like Danielle Feinberg from Pixar. Overall, Google's message to girls is that coding isn't just for engineers, but is rather a "tool that lets you write your story with technology." Naturally, we couldn't agree more.

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