Whether we realize we are doing it or not as parents, we often propel our children toward activities that are normalized for their genders. Marketing is strategically designed to target girls or boys. Stores have separate aisles for boys and girls. Pink boxes and bright colors are found for the girls, blue boxes and darker colors for the boys. It makes it easy for us to find what we are looking for, but at the same time, it moves us toward purchasing items that are either “girly” or “for boys” without even realizing we are doing it or allowing our kids to explore other activities they may like.

As the mother of three girls, it has always been in the forefront of my mind to make sure that my girls have opportunities to explore activities and toys other than what can be found in the pink aisles at Target. Although we often let them lead the way in terms of their interests, I have to remind myself to make sure we offer other experiences. After all, they don’t have a brother who would innately be offered things like dinosaurs, trucks, or robots so we have to provide those experiences for them.

What is Coding?

Coding and robotics have become increasingly popular, especially as technology has advanced to levels where it can be accessible to different ages — even elementary-age children. Classes are now offered during science lab or even as after-school programs. But most of us with children in elementary school spent most of our childhood playing Oregon Trail at school — not building computers or making robots move — so coding is a whole new thing for us. So what is coding and what can it teach our kids?

Girl Coders

Coding is basically the input of language to tell a computer, robot, or even a microwave what to do. Here is an example from Let’s Start Coding:

if(doorOpen){
    microwaves.off();
    interiorLight.on();

This code basically tells a microwave that if the door is opened, the microwaves being emitted are turned off and the interior light turns on.

If your child has the opportunity to learn coding in school, they may learn how to make a robot lift its arm or navigate an obstacle course. They might be able to tell a computer that if XYZ is pushed then the screen should turn blue. The possibilities of coding are endless, especially when it comes to creating a generation of children who love technology (and not just watching it, but actually creating it).

Bringing Coding Home

Pai Technology offers an opportunity for you to bring coding home to start your child’s love of coding early. Their augmented reality robot, Augie, offers children as young as 5 years old the opportunity to learn coding. The multi-level program allows kids to start off simple — with easy commands that just require a touch of a button — to more complex coding, all of which can be done through the free app.

Girl Coders

Girl Coders

Augie is Pai Technology’s first coding robot, and it was designed to allow children to use their imaginations and creativity, as well as their love of coding, to make Augie do different commands, like:

  • Execute simple movements, like forward, backward, right, and left
  • Make sounds — either through the Free Play mode or by recording their own sounds
  • Follow sequence codes
  • Follow if/then codes (also known as variables)

Kids can also create missions and challenges for Augie through Augmented Reality.

Girl Coders

Girl Coders

The five-level program offers fun and engaging coding tutorials that comply with standards set forth by Code.org. This way Augie can help your child advance through their coding skills as they get older and learn more about coding an augmented reality via the free, 3D-immersive app.

Girl Coders

Girl Coders

Girl Coders

Watch Augie in action:

Raising a Generation of Girl Coders

As parents, it is up to us to help mold the future generations. The experiences and opportunities we offer to our children can help mold the future. This includes offering STEAM activities to our female population — a population that is often left in the lurch when it comes to innovation in science, technology, engineering, and math — so that they have the opportunity to become a part of the growing field of technology.

Girl Coders

Women have been in the workplace for over half a century, but there are still jobs out there that are dominated by men. Most science and technology, especially computer coding and programming sectors, still have mostly male employees with men making up 74 percent of the workplace environment in computer technology. Couple that with the 74 percent of girls who show interest in STEAM-related careers, and the answer is clear — girls are being deterred from science and technology. However, with the ever-changing landscape and accessibility of technology, it is easier now than ever to introduce coding and robotics to children, even at very young ages both at home and at school.

Research continues to show that introducing children to certain activities at young ages promotes a love for that activity as they continue to grow. Giving them a variety of experiences, including STEAM activities, gives children the opportunity to see what they like and what they enjoy, which will intrinsically motivate them to further their education and knowledge base.

Girl Coders

Giving children, especially our girls, opportunities to learn to coding at home, like with Augie from Pai Technology, allows them to gain these experiences they otherwise might not be afforded. In the end, we can help create a generation of girl coders. Maybe one day they will take over the technology landscape (or at least give those boys a run for their money).

Want to learn more about Augie from Pai Technology? Check out their socials below:

Want some advice for your budding STEAM-loving military kids? See what Meg from Milkids Ed has to say. 
Raising A Generation Of Girl Coders

Photo Credit: Lauren Lomsdale

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