Welcome, Arnolyn! Tell us: how old were you when you first got started with programming and what inspired you to teach with The Coding Space?
Hi! I moved from Arizona to New York a little over two years ago and I have never been more excited for a new journey. I learned to code my freshman year in college and at first I was a bit on the edge because the idea of being able to code and talk to my computer seemed too good to be true. I was inspired to teach with The Coding Space because I wanted to give children the chance to express themselves creatively and harness their individual talents through a unique outlet.
Why do you think learning programming skills is important for girls especially?
I believe that learning how to program as a young woman is not only important but also liberating. We are allowing young women the chance to step into a field that has mostly been dominated by men and we are giving them tools and resources to harness their own creativity and individuality. Together, we can build one another up and truly make a change in our current gender norms for future generations and show that they can be anything they truly want to be.
Tell us more about GirlCode. How do you see it benefiting girls interested in programming?
GirlCode is a program offered by The Coding Space that allows young women the chance to learn with other GirlCoders in a unique setting. GirlCode benefits girls by giving them an opportunity to learn without the male-dominated coding classes that could intimidate them, fostering creativity, self-expression, and confidence. GirlCode truly makes a difference for our young women by giving them the space that they need to develop their own individuality without feeling like they are less deserving and shows them that there are other girls out there who have similar interests.
How can parents spark a child's interest in science, math, and technology?
Encourage kids to think critically about the world around them. Ask your child questions that they haven’t really had the chance to think more about. For example, “How do you think a computer works?” This question will definitely get your kid thinking. As a family, this approach will help foster critical thinking skills and applying an integrated form of learning.
What’s one thing you wish parents knew about getting girls into coding?
Coding isn’t just for boys! Girls are capable of so much more and by giving your daughters an outlet to harness their journey of coding, you are uplifting them and showing them that girls can be anything boys can be. There is no limit to what a girl can do because of her gender and it is important that we give our future engineers the chance to dream big. And, to the future girls who take this journey: make it count and be ready to change the world.
Thank you for chatting with us, Arnolyn, and for helping our GirlCoders dream big! To learn more about GirlCode, click here.