"From smartphones to smart cars,
technology is everywhere in our modern lives." summarizes Elizabeth Harper, Contributing Writer.
It doesn't matter what industry you work in or what you do with your leisure time; everyone needs at least some tech knowledge to get by.
This is all the more true for our children, who are growing up in an increasingly high-tech world. Without a good education in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math — they could fall behind. This is a particular problem for girls, who often aren't encouraged to pursue the sciences. While 66 percent of girls aged 6 to 12 have an interest in computing programs, that falls to 32 percent for teen girls aged 13 to 17. And by the time young women enter college, the number has fallen even further to 4 percent. That means they're often left out of the growing high-tech economy.
It doesn't have to be that way. From toys to coding classes, there are lots of ways to foster girls' interest in technology. This could help them find good jobs in the future. But you don't have to tell them that — learning to code can also just be a lot of fun.
Here some great options to help get your daughters involved in coding.
Coding classes and camps
In-person classes offer girls hands-on coding experience with an instructor who can guide them along the way. There are some great free programs for kids of all ages, ranging from hour-long classes to intensive seven-week summer camps.
Girls Who Code
This nonprofit organization offers after-school clubs and summer immersion programs for girls from sixth to 12th grade. Programs are offered nationwide, and all are completely free. Girls Who Code clubs are designed for various skill levels, from girls with no computer science experience to girls with college-level coding concepts. Clubs meet for two hours a week after school or on weekends at schools, libraries or community centers. The goal is to create a "Computer Science Impact Project." The exact project depends on the club, but everyone involved learns basic computer science concepts as well as the teamwork and time management skills required by real-world technology companies.