If you have a girl in your family that wants to get into game development, robotics, or anything digital, you might want to be in Sydney this July.
There’s an old adage of “you can be anything you want if you put your mind to it”, and for the most part it’s true. You can be a scientist if you study for it, a doctor if you put in the hard work, and an engineer if you learn what you need to do and make it happen.
Anyone can be anything if they put the work in, but while IT is an area many will head to, recent research has suggested that only 13 percent of girls study science and technology fields in the latter years of high school in Australia, with Microsoft sending word that women account for less than a quarter of IT workforces employed.
While that suggests IT is a male dominated field, it doesn’t need to be. There’s nothing in technology that suggests you have to be of a specific gender to develop for it, and as part of a push to get more women into it, Microsoft is going to offer courses over the upcoming school holidays to get young women into the field.
And by young women, we mean kids.
Girls aged 6 to 15 specifically, because they’ll have the option of joining free courses run at Microsoft’s Store in Sydney over the July school holidays to build skills and encouragement in the development world.
Microsoft tells Pickr that as part of its partnership with Code Like a Girl, Microsoft will be giving young girls the chance to go hands on with major technological areas, such as designing and building a website, learning computational logic with LEGO Mindstorms robots, creating digital art through coding, and even making a game from scratch.
The skill levels are all set for beginners, and the lessons are free, running for 2.5 hours for girls aged roughly 6 to 15.
“By providing young girls an opportunity to develop an active interest in coding, we can help deliver real impact to the future of the Australian technology industry,” said Jessica Earhart, Community Development Specialist at the Sydney Microsoft Store.
“We see from our customers every day that there is a strong desire from girls to learn how to code, and Microsoft Store is committed to creating an innovative learning environment where every young girl from any background feels included, inspired, supported and empowered,” she said.
Microsoft’s courses are free, so if you have a budding engineer in the family, you will want to get in quick, registering for one (or all) of the courses at Microsoft’s site. The courses run from July 9 to July 15, and are only available in Sydney, with no live casting (we checked), sadly.