For the past 17 years, Techbridge Girls has been working to break down barriers that often keep young women, particularly those of color from low-income communities, out of STEM careers and the maker movement. We work to craft a new narrative that centers this population and gives them space not just to engage with STEM and making, but to believe that they can transform the maker movement to reflect their experiences and interests. Techbridge Girls supports an ecosystem for girls from grades four through 12 to experience the full breadth of STEM education and works to ignite in them the courage to pursue a STEM degree and career.
Our model is not rocket science, but it is intentional. As the Maker Movement continues to grow and expand we also need to be intentional about what voices and perspectives are represented. As educators and thought leaders, it is our responsibility to ensure that all voices and perspectives have an opportunity to come to the table, and have their voices heard. In order to support educators in their work to develop more equitable, inclusive maker education programs and practices, we are excited to share a set of 6 strategies we’ve used at Techbridge to redefine making, and create new space and opportunities for girls.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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