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Whether or not you love it, hate it, disagree with it, or embrace it, we live in an ever-changing and increasingly digital world. When information is literally at our fingertips, kids have 24/7 access to any subject they would like to learn about. The new normal is how quickly you can logically think through and creatively solve a problem while remaining flexible and open to infinite possibilities.

So why exactly do kids need to learn how to code? More specifically why do girls need to learn how to code? With more and more millennials being left behind in the job market it is becoming increasingly clear that obtaining skill sets that pertain directly to stem related field is an invaluable tool to help secure a bright future for a child. With girls being outnumbered in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields, quite an advantage can be given to a girl who possesses such an invaluable skill set.

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Here are four reasons you should encourage your daughter to learn coding:

1. We should encourage girls to find their voice and use it. Programming is the new second language. Actually it is more of a first language. Coding is a new form of literacy and must be advocated on every level to keep women’s voices heard in every field, especially in STEM based careers. Don’t we want our girls to have a voice in that?

2. Unimaginable career potential! According to Reshma Saujani of Girls Who Code, “There will be 1.4 million jobs in computer science by 2020 and women are currently on pace to hold just 3% of them.” The STEM spectrum of careers is full of possibilities and new careers are being re-imagined by girls everyday.

3. Girls can change the world and programming can help them do it. Coding is the language of the future and if ideas can be communicated clearly via programming, those ideas can become reality.

4. Programming promotes critical thinking and innovation. This is an amazing way for girls to learn to handle failure. The need to constantly evaluate a situation and correct your responses accordingly to achieve and unlock goals is a great way to teach children that perseverance is the key to growth.

So now that I’ve sold you on the importance of being a coding genius, where to begin? The good news is there are many resources out there readily available. If you’re looking for some hands-on learning check out Dash and Dot. These little robots are a lot of fun and kids are crazy for them. The company that makes them (Wonder Workshop) also works with a lot of classrooms and holds yearly competitions to encourage coding as a sport.

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Luckily coding can be fun as well, and that means that there are plenty of games that can begin teaching you these valuable skills. Check out these games that will hopefully pique your daughter’s interest without letting on that she is actually learning a new skill:

The Foos 
Code Academy 
Treehouse 

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And lastly, because of the very nature of the topic being coding, helpful websites are plentiful when it comes to information on how to get started. But when you were specifically talking about girls learning to code, the first place you should check out would be: www.girlswhocode.com

Angie Rumpf
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