Silicon Chef 2013 - Hackbright Academy hardware hackathon for women

6 Things Parents Can Do RIGHT NOW To Create Future Innovators & Leaders

Hackbright Academy serves post baccalaureate women learning to code and become software engineers, but what about the girls?

Here are some ideas for cultivating programmatic thinking in younger girls:

Everyday Childhood Encouragement of Experimentation and STEM Discovery!

Here are 6 things you can do right now to help your children become more resilient as future innovators and leaders:

Educational Programming Languages

There’s no shortage of educational programming languages for children – try filtering languages/apps by your child’s age. Here are the stand outs:

  • Alice is a free 3D programming environment for kids (ages 10+), and there is a Storytelling Alice for your story-loving child.
  • Daisy the DinosaurFor your iPad, there’s Daisy the Dinosaur – a free app that teaches programming fundamentals to kids (ages 3+). There is also Hopscotch, a free app that teaches kids to make apps.
  • Scratch is a robust MIT project to help kids (ages 8-16) develop animations, interactive stories and games. There is also App Inventor to build an Android app, which is best for junior high kids and older.
  • Check out Blockly and Blockly Games, a set of educational games to teach programming to kids of all ages.
  • Kodable is a great app for iPhone and iPad to teach kids (ages 5+) programming. Bonus: female founder Grechen Huebner!

Camps for Girls – Future Inventors, Programmers And Leaders

Silicon Valley parents sign up children (ages 6-18) for iD Tech camps at local universities to teach kids to program.

There’s also Alexa Cafe, the all-girls version of iD Tech camp for girls (ages 10-15).

Bay Area non-profit Iridescent runs a fantastic Curiosity Camp (ages 3-10) to introduce kids to the art of observation in nature, engineering, and robots!

There’s Girls Make Games with camps introducing girls (ages 11-14) to game design, game art and programming.

Don’t forget – you can enroll your daughters in Computer and LEGO® Summer Day Camps for children (ages 5-16) in the Bay Area, and check out the offerings at Digital Media Academy summer camps at UC Berkeley for children (ages 12-17).

There are also Summer Camps for students in grades 4-8 at the Tech in San Jose, California. For more summer activities for children, especially those around computers and technology, check out ActivityHero for classes and summer camps.