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Black girls code Detroit

I was fortunate enough to participate as a volunteer for the Black Girls Code Detroit chapter this past weekend as a technical instructor.  The program goal is to “increase the number of women of color in the digital space by empowering African American girls ages 7 to 17 to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science and technology”.

My first impression when arriving I was astonishment at the turnout.  All the available slots were full, and the kids were eager to get started on their coding project.  I lead the girls in building a lego crocodile that closed its mouth when your put your finger in its mouth, when finished building the robot, we began to program it to make movements.  The software was designed to teach kids the basic concepts of programming through writing software, making a robot respond to whatever instructions they wrote using software that connected images to simulate instructions of a real program.  I was amazed how quickly they got the robot to respond to their program they wrote.   After that task was accomplished they decided to write their own alternate programs outside of the scope of the requirements.  Making the robot to all kinds of other actions based on the actions of a user.

Impacting future opportunities

These types of experiences are necessary for introducing our youth to the programming arts. At this age, a child can decide their interest, and if they take a liking to it, the possibilities are endless in where they can take it. With such a vacancy in the job market for talented developers, programs like this are perfect for positioning the youth to dominate the future tech world.

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Black Girls Code student building a robotic lego.

How to get started

If you would like to volunteer for BGC, you can fill out this form http://www.blackgirlscode.com/volunteer-signup.html to sign up.

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BGC's Vision:

To increase the number of women of color in the digital space by empowering girls of color ages 7 to 17 to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science and technology.