It’s no secret that things aren’t always easy for women and minorities in STEM. Though we’ve discussed the diversity in previous articles, there are (fortunately) people taking an active role in changing things for the better. Today, men far outnumber women in STEM roles. Those are just the facts. Studies show the relatively small population of women can be due to varying combinations of work environment and discouragement in pursuit of science and math interests at an early age. Our female scientists, engineers and techies are stepping in to bridge the gap between women wanting to get involved in STEM and the industry itself. Programs for youth, young adults, posts-grads and beyond are sprouting that give these young women the opportunity to explore their curiosity.

Made With Code, a program to get girls excited about computer science and coding, is gaining traction, media attention, and – money. Google plans to invest $50 million into the program over the next three years. Its list of partners to help foster the community is no small accomplishment either: they’ve recruited Chelsea Clinton, Mindy Kaling, MIT Media Lab, Girl Scouts of the USA, Girls Inc., Girls Who Code, the National Center for Women and Information Technology, and TechCrunch to get involved. With a team of supporters that strong, Made With Code is off to a brilliant start.

The Made With Code website offers projects and tools for parents and classrooms to allow children to explore the creation of websites, apps, graphics and videos, with code. Mentors, who include animator Danielle Feinberg of Pixar and video game developer Robin Hunicke, post videos with personal anecdotes charting their own journey to coding. The site offers a search browser to find workshops, events and classes nearest your location. It’s a dynamic new way to keep girls excited about the potentials of science and technology, and offers them a safe place to explore their creativity.

Do you wish you had something like this growing up? Or were you fortunate to have mentors, friends and family that encouraged you to pursue your passions? We’re very happy about programs like Made With Code that encourage our youth to further explore opportunities in STEM, and can’t wait to see what these young people go on to do with their big imaginations.

Crook, Jordan. “Google Invests $50 Million In “Made With Code” Program To Get Girls Excited About CS | TechCrunch.” TechCrunch. TechCrunch, 22 June 2014. Web. 28 Aug. 2014.

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