Date of Award
Santa Clara : Santa Clara University
Despite the growing importance of technology and computing, fewer than 1% of women in college today choose to major in computer science. Educational programs and games created to interest girls in computing, such as Girls Who Code and Made With Code, have been successful in engaging girls with interactive and creative learning environments, but they are too advanced for young girls to bene t from. To address the lack of educational, computer science games designed speci cally for young girls, we developed a web-based application called Code Girl for girls age ve to eight to customize their own avatar using Blockly, an open-source visual coding editor developed by Google. Girls learn basic computer science and problem-solving skills by successfully using puzzle-piece like blocks to complete challenges that unlock new accessories for their avatar. In conducting user testing with a Girl Scouts ages six to eight, we assessed the complexity of the application and identi ed ways make Code Girl more user-friendly and intuitive. The overall feedback we received on Code Girl in user testing was positive, as a majority of the girls expressed an interest in playing the game again and playing more games designed to teach programming. Code Girl thus appeals to the general pastimes of young girls to interest them in computer science from an early age and hopefully inspires them to pursue computing as a career. Before being released to the public, a few improvements are necessary. The application must be made fully responsive, the page load time when deployed must be reduced, and additional challenges and accessories for the avatar should be incorporated, all of which will better reach and engage users in learning about computing, thereby educating and empowering them even more.
Acosta, Tracey; Holl, Amanda; and Rogalski, Paige, "Code girl" (2015). Computer Science and Engineering Senior Theses. 43.