CodeSpark Academy and STEAM:CODERS Hosting “SUPERCODERS Camp” in Honor of Women’s History Month

Published : Wednesday, March 21, 2018 | 5:21 PM

Two Pasadena-based organizations, codeSpark Academy and STEAM:CODERS, are celebrating Women’s History Month by hosting SUPERCODERS Camp, a series of one-day girls coding and game-making workshops throughout March in Pasadena.

The kick-off event took place at Norma Coombs Elementary School on March 1 and featured 16-year-old Keila Banks, an international speaker, programmer and entrepreneur, best known for her keynote speech at OSCON 2015 Portland and viral Youtube video “Unde?nable Me.”

“I’ve been all around the world speaking to large audiences about the importance of giving young girls like me an opportunity to break into code, but there’s nothing better than coming home to the Los Angeles area to inspire young, local female coders to pursue their programming dreams,” Banks said at the event. “I’m here to show that despite obstacles, dreams do come true and I’m so honored to work with codeSpark Academy and STEAM:Coders to help spread the message of hope to all young girls who code.”

Twenty-five second, third and fourth-grade girls are now learning the basics of coding at SUPERCODERS Camps through a hands-on activity — activating a female superhero.

Camp organizers say research has shown that girls develop gendered stereotypes about STEM as young as second grade.

“In 2013, my six-year-old daughter was the only girl in an after-school robotics program,” Grant Hosford, codeSpark Academy CEO and co-founder, said. “Since then, I’ve been on a mission to turn programming into play while making it as girl-friendly as possible. Our research shows it’s critical to build con?dence and interest in tech early. We are thrilled to partner with STEAM:CODER to offer local coding camps to young girls in the area. Girls make awesome programmers and girl programmers build awesome games.”

The month-long SUPERCODERS camp provides girls aged 5-10 with project-based experience that teaches them the fundamentals of block-based programming and making their own video games.

One more three-hour session takes place at Supplyframe DesignLab on Saturday, March 24, from 9 a.m. to noon. It also includes a two-hour programming and game making class.

Raymond Ealy, STEAM:CODERS Executive Director and Founder, said the camps strive to address “the very limited resources and opportunities for students to learn about STEAM, especially among underserved families in the Pasadena area.”

“We couldn’t be more excited to work with codeSpark Academy to provide an interactive experience including the tools and know-how of coding basics to young girls locally,” he said.

Tablets are provided. Participants also receive free access to codeSpark Academy’s app for six months, as well as swag pack giveaways which include including t-shirts, stickers and booklets.

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