You’d be forgiven for feeling some STEM fatigue at this point — seriously, not every toy needs to teach your kid to code. But facts are facts, and the fact is emphasizing those skills benefits more than just toymakers and textbook publishers. Seventy four percent of girls express an interest in STEM-related fields during middle school, yet fewer than 1 percent go on to major in Computer Science. That’s why Google launched Made With Code: to inspire, celebrate, engage, and build communities of girls who code — and groom their next class of interns.
Google describes Made With Code as a movement, but if that sounds too Bernie Sanders for you, just visit the site. It’s packed with fun, creative introductory projects like a beat maker, a dance-move visualizer, and an LED dress, all of which are tangible and ‘gram-worthy. Whether your daughter already codes or you think PHP is how the youths are getting high these days, anyone can try the projects, which are based in the Google-developed, entry-level programming language Blockly. Concepts covered include variables, coordinates, statements, strings, and sequence, which you’d know are the building blocks of coding if they had Made With Code when you were little.
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Every Made With Code project has step-by-step instructions and multiple levels of complexity. After your little genius codes her way through all of them, there’s a resources page with even more inspiration from partner organizations. Those allies and backers include everyone from Mozilla and the Girl Scouts Of America to Donors Choose, the National Parks Service, and Fatherly favorite littleBits, because just about everything is made with code these days, and those places all need interns too.