Saturday, October 31, 2015

Day 99 ~ How to NOT attract girls to learn to code

Yesterday I was looking for a specific tutorial to help me figure out a coding algorithm for my new Arduino Bean.  In the first page of search results,  I came across an opportunity to learn to code through a gamified system called  CODE WARRIORS.

The site promised an environment where 

"Giant robots and JavaScript are your weapons of choice as you program your way to victory in this strategic combat game. No previous coding knowledge is required to crack the code as the game guides you from a beginner, to coder, to warrrior. Let the battle commence!

Build your ultimate Code Warrior in the Chop Shop, a hi-tech garage full of weapons, robot parts, and paints... 
Earn coding credits for match and challenge completion to spend in the Chop Shop 
Compete against your Facebook friends with a large arsenal of weapons and in four awesome arenas"

As I scrolled on the site, the welcome message was replaced with this graphic to ENTER the site

I can't be the only one who feels that the message here is similar to the message that women face in the military.  "The is a combat zone - no women allowed".

I think what bothered me even more was that the site was being marketed to  schools complete with a teacher pack for classroom implementation.  The marketing department even included a review from an elementary school 
"We have been using Code Warriors in school as a way to deliver an element of our computing curriculum. It has been one of the most engaging tools we use to teach .."

Thankfully there are plenty of other options for computing curriculum that understands the  barriers for women and girls to feel welcomed into the field of computer science.   But I found it interesting that in a world where organizations like NAPE (National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity) are offering training in the impact of mirco-messaging as a strategy to increasing the number of girls and women in STEM, that there are still plenty of messages that are NOT so MICRO telling girls that coding is NOT for them. 

Just saying...

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Day 98 Code Girl Movie Launchs Next Week

Coming next week!

Release of Leslie Chilcott's documentary  ~ CodeGirl

From November 1 - 5Lesley’s film will be available for free on YouTube, before its big theatrical debut in the weeks that follow.  

You can access the film, starting November 1 on The teaser is available here. This film is a family-friendly, positive and global look at inspiring girls to code. 


Host a @CODEGIRLMOVIE screening party 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Day 97 Growing Season in Vermont

As some of you know, I set a goal to blog regularly on the TechSavvy Girls blog in 2015.  From January  to June 1, I added 96 blog post to this blog.  Then I went into hibernation.   But I'm back!

First let me give a quick explanation about the hibernation.  Why did I disappear?  
Because I learned that my  time for writing was the months that I am 'on the road'.
As some of you know, a few years ago I gave up my apartment to move into a 1983 Bluebird bus. The bus leaves Vermont every November and travels back to Vermont  during late April.

Photo Credit:  Joanne deLaBruere
What I discovered about myself was that during that time I am more reflective and feel compelled to write.  What I also discovered was that once we return to Vermont, I shift gears and go into 'growing season in Vermont"mode.

We all know that Vermont has a short growing season -  and during that short season, Vermonters must be leverage every opportunity to plant, grown, harvest what they will need to sustain themselves for the year.   What I found myself doing  during our time in Vermont (May - November) was growing my projects (planting, growing, and harvesting).  And what I discovered was that my commitment to blogging was not sustainable during this intense 'growing season'.

Well growing season is almost over for me, we are getting ready to hit the road again and I'm gearing up to regular reflections and writings in this blog.    So many ideas... so many things I've been wanting to write about.. where do I start!