I organised and led a popular Summer of Code last July.
We ran a well-attended session on the micro:bit – the electronic device developed by the BBC with the aim to introduce more children to coding. We had a packed room… but only a few girls.
The girls who attended the session were particularly keen on the micro:bits. They loved giving it instructions and seeing the displayed results. I enjoyed seeing them actively participating, playing each others’ games and showing me their creations.
It became clear to me that the micro:bits are great for introducing girls to coding. They can see how code interacts with the physical world and as their coding skills develop, they can start making their ideas happen.
I believe that introducing girls to coding from a young age is so important. Digital literacy is not just for boys and parents need to realise that micro:bits, computer games, Minecraft, etc are part of every child’s digital world. Parents should not make gender assumptions when it comes to computers and electronic devices. The earlier the girls are exposed to technology, the more they will be interested in STEM subjects later on.
So here it is a big plea to parents: give your daughter a micro:bit and let her tinker away.
Look out for any coding activities in your area where your daughter can participate.