NYC camps aim to bridge diversity gap, teaches students to code

NYC camps aim to bridge diversity gap, teaches students to code

NYC camps aim to bridge diversity gap, teaches students to code

New York, NY. African-American Boys from Harlem participate in a pilot for coding camp run by MindShift and Dodgeball & Faber College Prep New York. (Image: © Virginia Durocher)

A growing movement in the United States is calling for coding camps to teach basic coding basics to children in an effort to close the tech gender gap and get young people excited about building apps.

Where: NYC.

Who: Mentors make a big difference in kids coding knowledge.

Selected to participate: Girls will benefit most from mentors’ involvement because they’re able to have more individualized tutoring. Girls tend to be more visual learners and might benefit from some visual aids.

Things to know:

“One of the keys to success is keeping young people engaged and motivated.

“Digital technology’s influence is so great in today’s world that both education and employer need to be engaging in this field,” said Gabriel Taussig, director of Africana Media & Society at Hackspace Brooklyn.

“You can teach them the basics, but you can’t really train them enough to do something that they actually want to do.

“Kids have to really want to learn and be passionate about it,” said Taussig.

The idea of creating a camp to get young minorities interested in coding was born after Black Girls Code Founder, Regina Watson noticed the lack of black men participating in Code for America.

Several organizations and business are now offering coding camps, like MindShift’s pilot with Dodgeball & Faber College Prep New York, where Jessica Moreno, a young mentor explained.

“I’m only 21, but I want to grow and it’s getting harder and harder to find mentors,” said Moreno.

Two weeks ago, students at Dodgeball & Faber College Prep New York spent two weeks learning JavaScript, HTML, Python, and Ruby, with the goal of using coding to improve life.

These movements are growing rapidly, but so is the divide of the U.S. population. Only 30% of computing jobs are open to women, and blacks make up only 4% of computer jobs. And only 2% of the total American data scientists are black.

“I don’t want anyone else to have to feel that way,” said Dev, a student from Dodgeball & Faber College Prep New York who went to Code for America camp. “I feel like there aren’t enough people doing this, and that’s something I want to change.”

Check out our complete coverage of Black Girls Code:

GEOWatch: Heart Health and Black Boys

GEOWatch: Old & New Practices that Affect Black Boys

GEOWatch: Education, (and Memory): Better and Larger is the Goal

GEOWatch: Mathematics Matters

GEOWatch: You Should Know

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