When it comes to cracking coders, businesses are starting ’em young

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STEM gender gap

This week, Disney partnered with nonprofit littleBits to launch Snap the Gap, a project aimed at closing the STEM gender gap by providing resources to preteen girls before society throws them into a (jewelry) box.

The initiative plans to use hands-on learning, mentorships and collaborative peer communities to increase girls’ confidence and interest in STEM and ultimately inspire them to become “tomorrow’s changemakers.”

Building kids’ coding confidence is so hot right now

Did someone say “build?” Lego is rolling out Spike Prime, a new robotics product aimed at teaching middle-schoolers coding, techy problem-solving and prototyping.

The $330 kit includes Technics bricks and a Scratch-based app. The premise: Use basic lessons and fun activities — whattup, breakdancing robot — to make programming more approachable.

There are even lesson plans for teachers to incorporate into the classroom (cut to: teacher frantically googles her students’ coding questions).

Leggoooo, little ones! 

These developments follow in the wake of other non-tech companies (eg. KanoFisher-Price) making moves to equip kids with the building blocks for lifelong programming interest and skills.

Partnerships and new products are a great first step in getting young’uns (particularly girls) excited about STEM, but it’s important to continually invest in education and diverse hiring across the board to break down bias and barriers…

That said, really anything is better than this utter facepalm.

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