Girls are Coding – And Loving it!

Girls Tynkering
Girls are Coding – And Loving it!
Excited Kami shows her Sky Scream Tynker project ed Astrid Interview Edited Cropped Tynker Hour of Code Quinn Pic

“There’s always a block for what you want.”

“Makes me feel free to make what I want to have fun.”

“It’s just fun. I don’t get stressed out.”

 

Meet Kami, a 6th grader who’s been programming with Tynker! “Tynker is awesome,” she says as she walks us through a complex multi-level game she created where players must catch ice cream scoops that fall from the sky. “There’s always a block for what you want. It’s simple, quick, easy, and fun to do. When I grow up I’ll be able to make games that I like because they are my ideas!” Comments like this make our day, especially when they come from girls. Today there’s an unfortunate stereotype that girls think that programming is “uncool” or “too complicated.” But girls like Kami and dozens of others tell us a very different story!

They rave about how much they enjoy coding on our platform, creating things, and using their imagination. Sixth grader Astrid appreciates the fact that “you don’t have to do ‘this, this, this’ to have fun. Tynker makes me feel free to make what I want to make.” And Quinn, a 5th grader, says, “It’s just fun. I don’t get stressed out, but I know I’m learning something.” Girls love Tynker not just because it’s easy to use and fun to play, but because it’s engaging in a way that’s inspiring them to be creative and innovative.

Tynker is great because you get to use your imagination to make something extraordinary!

— Kaela, 5th grade

We see girls gaining the confidence to build better and more complicated programs because they are creating things that interest them, like dancing games and animated birthday cards that they can share and play with their friends. Parents agree: Andrea says of her daughter Elizabeth, She’s now inspired, enthusiastic about programming (she had no interest before), and wants to make games. She has learned persistence at getting things done and the confidence to work through complex challenges.” Another parent, Sue, remarks: “With Tynker, Millie feels in control and it gives her a lot of confidence to feel that she is learning such cool stuff, really all by herself.”

We hear these things and can’t help but wonder: if the girls who are exposed to the Tynker platform develop the kind of confidence, enthusiasm and motivation that we see every day, how can we empower them to continue on this path as they grow up? Our hope is that we can keep cultivating an engaging environment that embodies our guiding principles:

  1. Incorporate interest-based learning. From fairytale stories to astronaut games, we enable ALL kids to find something that will be interesting to them as a way of engaging them in the learning process.
  2. Make it accessible. Create an low-stress, confidence-boosting environment where kids can learn at their own pace. Provide them with the guidance and help needed to succeed, regardless of experience or ability.
  3. Make it kid-friendly and fun. Cool characters, fun tools, exciting projects!

 

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“This looks so cool.”

“It works!”

“Let’s get creative.”

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“I made it myself!”

“I’ve got this!”

“What would happen if…”

 

The Googles and Facebooks of the world are also responding to the challenge to get girls coding. They, as well as organizations like Code.org and Girls Who Code, the new Code Documentary, and many others that are doing a wonderful job bringing potential solutions to light. LEGO and the very successful Goldie Blox are adding variety to their products with colors, props, and packaging in an effort to grow their market to include girls. Mattel is joining the conversation with their latest Game Developer Barbie who codes!

Today, we have an equal number of girls and boys in the classroom and in our camps programming on the Tynker platform. We believe that success and talent crosses gender lines (even the Tynker product is developed by both male and female engineers) and that all children have the capability to be independent, confident creative thinkers and problem solvers.

Greg Messerian, a father of a 4th grade Tynker user, expresses our philosophy perfectly: “Whether or not Emma ends up coding when she grows up, what matters is that she had experiences like this one (Tynker), where being a girl didn’t limit her opportunities.”

Interested in getting your child introduced to programming? It’s not too late for your child to try an Hour of Code, where we aim to get millions of kids coding (boys AND girls!).

Tynker enables children to learn computer programming in a fun and imaginative way. More than 60 million kids worldwide have started learning to code using Tynker.

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