You’ve probably heard a lot about the gender gap in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields. Getting more girls involved in coding and other sciences is something we at Tynker talk about a lot because it’s so important. Unfortunately, girls aren’t alone in this. Like women, people of color are also largely underrepresented in STEM fields.
Though people of color are expected to become the majority of the U.S. population in the next 30 years, they account for less than 30% of American STEM workers today. So, there’s no better time than Black History Month for a reminder of why the talent and perspective of African-Americans is so important to the field of coding. In 2021, we’re continuing to highlight women of color in our monthly Women in STEM spotlights, like Joy Buolamwini. Known as the Poet of Code, Joy is the founder of Code4Rights, a non-profit that promotes human rights around the world through technology education.
Joy is hardly alone. She’s just one of many black innovators in technology and computer science throughout history. It’s a list that includes historical heroes, like Dr. Mae Jemison, the first black female astronaut, and Dorothy Vaughan and the other “hidden figures” of the early NASA space program. Plus modern innovators in computer technology, like Alan Emtage, the inventor of the first search engine, and Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code.
Tynker knows that we need more contributions from extraordinary innovators like these men and women to bring all of us into the future. That’s why we created our Black History Month project, letting kids choose an important historical black figure to research and present!
Your child can start with one of the ten key figures we’ve provided imagery for, or they can select one of many other important African-American historical figures. As they craft a presentation on the person of their choosing, kids will learn to add visual effects to their “Tell Their Story” project and practice coding concepts along the way!
How to code this project
All Tynker users have access to this project in their Tutorials Directory. Simply click on the project card and follow the instructions to get started! If you don’t have an account, you can sign up for a FREE account here and access many of our fun coding puzzles, games, and tutorials.
Teachers, all your students have access to this project as a Daily Mission. Once you set up a classroom, your students will continue to have access to the latest seasonal projects. If you’d like to assign the project but haven’t set up a classroom yet, you can:
- Set up a classroom in your Tynker account and add your students.
- Click on the “View Tutorial” button above to open the project and save it to your account.
- Go to “My Projects” in your dashboard and click the “Assign+” button.
After your class has finished, don’t forget to create a showcase of all your student projects to share with friends and parents.
Parents, to give this project to your child:
- Have your child log in to his/her account.
- They can find “Black History Month” in their Tutorials Directory!