An hour can be used for many things, cleaning, cooking, and work. For “Hour of Code” that hour is used to help teach younger people to become aware of coding, how it works, and some of the opportunities that this skill set presents.
The Hour of Code study, completed in December of 2016, surveyed students from 563 classrooms that completed one of two Hour of Code activities. It looked at their feelings about the field before and after completing the activities, as stated above. To help solicit participation in the study teachers were offered $10 gift cards if their classroom participated. The statements that the participants were asked to comment on were:
- I like computer science.
- I think computer science is interesting.
- I have the ability to learn computer science.
- I am better at computer science than most kids at my school.
Of the 8,000+ students that completed the activities and the survey 41% were 10 or younger, 45% were 11-13, and 14% were 14 and older. However, only 48% of the participants notated their gender on the survey, and the survey authors confirmed that this was something that could be improved upon in any future research. See more information about this at Education Weeks’ website.
One of the most interesting things that came to light because of the survey was how high school aged girls felt about computer science. Among the high school aged girls surveyed with no prior experience in computer science 75% stated that after completing the Hour of Code activity liked the field. Before the activity only 55% of the same group surveyed said that they liked the field.
Women are underrepresented in STEM and it seems that part of it might be due to lack of exposure to the field. People are oftentimes inspired by people and objects similar to them, so it makes sense to have a female robot helping girls to learn coding and computer science.
Robokind is helping to bridge that gap by creating a female coding robot to help young girls gain interest into this fast growing field.