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Empowering Young Girls through Coding: Reflections and Future Directions

Last year, I embarked on a journey to inspire and educate young girls in the world of coding by starting a girls' coding club. Drawing our lessons from the Edmentum PLATO platform, we met once a week on Thursdays from 5 to 6 pm for two months. The goal was to create simple games using Scratch, a beginner-friendly programming language. The girls were tasked with designing characters, animating explosions, and developing games with multiple levels and lives.


This activity was a learning curve not just for the girls, but for me as well. The traditional format of Edmentum’s lessons, which often involved technical instructions and extensive reading, proved challenging. To bridge this gap, I adopted a hands-on approach, showing them sample code I had created and encouraging them to experiment and modify it. Additionally, I made screencasts of myself coding, hoping that visual demonstrations would make the concepts more accessible.


Despite my efforts, I realized that while my approach was on the right track, there was room for improvement. Today's students are digital natives who thrive on engaging and interactive content. They need more than just traditional instructions; they need lessons that are dynamic and visually appealing. This insight led me to consider integrating short, informative videos into our sessions. These videos can be quickly produced and personalized, showing the students that their teacher is invested in their learning.


Moving forward, I plan to continue the coding club with enhanced strategies. Alongside Scratch, I will incorporate Tinkercad to introduce the girls to CAD (computer-aided design). This will not only diversify their skills but also provide a creative break from coding when needed. Switching between coding and CAD will keep the sessions fresh and exciting.


For educators looking to innovate their lesson presentations, there are several fantastic tools available. Screencastify and Prezi Video are user-friendly options for creating engaging content. Adobe's suite of tools offers powerful features for video production. By leveraging these technologies, teachers can craft lessons that captivate and educate.


Suggestions for Creating Engaging Lessons:

1. Use Short, Informative Videos: Create quick, targeted videos that explain key concepts. Personalize them to show your investment in the students' learning.

2. Incorporate Hands-On Activities: Allow students to dive into projects immediately after brief instructional videos. This approach keeps them engaged and reinforces learning through practice.

3. Switch Between Different Tools: Introduce variety in your lessons by switching between coding and other STEM activities like CAD. This helps maintain interest and provides a well-rounded skill set.


Call to Action


Teaching coding and CAD to girls, especially girls of color, is more than just imparting technical skills. It’s about empowering them to innovate, create, and break into fields where they are traditionally underrepresented. I invite fellow educators to join this mission by being creative in their lesson presentations and using engaging tools to make learning fun and effective.


Support our cause by making a donation to our nonprofit. Together, we can inspire the next generation of female coders and engineers, and create a future where diversity and innovation thrive.


DONATE TODAY!


Your contributions can help provide the resources and tools needed to keep our coding club running and expanding. Let’s make a difference, one line of code at a time.

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