In education, we are constantly trying to build our students up and provide them with a promising tomorrow. In that vein, there are many large projects to undertake. Breaking down the wage gap and lifting young women up to pursue careers predominantly held by men falls into this category. Digging a little deeper we can see there is an issue with computer science and woman. The issue is that women are few and far between. In order to make a positive change, we need to start early with our female students. We need to encourage our female students to start coding!
Girls Who Code
This is not a revolutionary idea. Just head over to girlswhocode.com and you’ll see what I mean. Girls Who Code have cornered the problem and are looking to start a revolution. Their website states that, “tech jobs are among the fastest growing in the country, yet girls are being left behind.” They are starting to do something about it and we, as educators, have a commitment to providing our students with the resources and experiences they need. How can we do this?
In order to make our female student coders feel safe, provide a space for them. Start a female only coders club to encourage students who may have been intimidated by a stereotypically male dominated club. This will open the door for many students and give them a comfortable place to explore the computer science world.
Gather Other Teachers
Bring other teachers together. Starting a school wide initiative is going to take some man power. Call on other teachers who think similarly and have the drive to make positive change happen. Gathering like minded educators will be a good way to brainstorm club/school activities and can help other teachers bring awareness of coding to students
Spot Dormant Interest
Use your classroom and the knowledge you have of your students to spot, then encourage, interest in computer science and programming. Try to include more computer science activities in your classroom and see which students respond proactively to it. Encourage those students to join clubs, provide them with material, and be the support they need in trying out a new interest! Without us pushing our students to succeed, how else will they be able to reach their full potential. Someday those students will thank you when they have great paying jobs that they love!