Brownies to learn coding in an effort to engage more girls in tech | guides

The brownies must learn coding and the guides will investigate chatbots in an effort to change girls’ stubborn attitudes that science, technology, engineering and math (Stem) careers are for boys only.

The push to engage thousands more girls in tech comes after research from Girlguiding found that more than half (52%) of girls and women aged 11-21 thought Stem was for boys. The strength of sentiment is unchanged since 2016.

Classes will include Happy Appy, an app session for Rainbows, the branch of guides for children aged four to seven. Elementary-aged girls are much less likely to view Stem as a boys’ preserve than those over the age of 11, according to a survey, just how entrenched the attitudes of many are already.

Girls and women remain underrepresented in some key subjects and careers at the parent schools. Over 14% of male students take maths GCSEs to A level, compared to just 9% of female students, while the figures for physics were 8.3% and 2.2%. However, girls who took an A-level physics course were more likely than boys to score higher.

According to analysis government figures.

Maddie Wray-Reynolds, 23, Girl Guides and Brownies manager at Cheltenham, said it was ‘really sad’ to hear some Brownies recently say that ‘they can’t be a doctor because they’re a girl “.

She said she was called a “geek” and a “nerd” in high school because of her interest in computers and was ashamed of her passion for Formula 1 motor racing.

Associated Brownie Badges include Aviation, Invention and Space while Guides cover Science, Computing, Robotics and Engineering. But the most popular badges in brownies are baking, mindfulness, and performance and among the guides are mixology (alcohol-free), recycling, and bottom cooking.

Nicole McWilliams, who leads the engineering group for Android smartphones at Google, which supports the courses, said: “People think of drawing and painting as creativity, but technology is incredibly creative. It’s like a blank canvas and a box of crayons.

Peyton Mitchell, 10, a Brownie from Hemel Hempstead, said: “It’s unfair that people think it’s more for boys. We all use [technology] in our daily life. »

Asked about female role models, she replied, “Most girls in my class don’t know anyone to go to if they want to become an engineer.

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Daljit Kaur, a former computer science teacher who works for Stem Learning, a government-backed organization that aims to improve science and technology education, said she noticed that girls aged 9 and 10 years old had no problem experimenting with a robot, but at 12 “they become more hesitant, they don’t want to break up”. She said that once pushed, girls were as successful as boys.

Meanwhile, half of the Scouting members lost during the pandemic have returned with the restart of in-person meetings. Youth membership rebounded to nearly 422,000 after falling by a quarter to 363,000 from 2020 to 2021. Chief Scout Bear Grylls called for more adult volunteers to handle the rise with 90,000 waiting to join.

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