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teaching methodology

Building Bytes specializes in teaching computer science and coding to girls. To provide our students with the best possible learning experience, we work closely with experts at the Stanford Graduate School of Education to develop curriculums and teaching techniques that incorporate education research about how to best teach girls in STEM and set them up for success. 

Two girls working at whiteboard
why choose building bytes?

Unlike other programs, we specialize in teaching computer science to girls so you know that your daughter will get the best possible experience as she embarks on her computer science journey. 

 

Our team of female mentors is committed to this mission and strives to empower each and every girl who we work with, building a community that goes far beyond what any individual mentorship session can provide.

Female student studying

We work with students as young as 8 in order to provide them with the exposure and familiarity to coding. Many of our mentors are experts in teaching coding to younger children and are able to curate a curriculum suitable for our youngest students.

Girl smiling in a classroom

Far too often, curriculums are tailored at a certain audience and do not engage girls who are interested in coding.

We're here to change that. We tailor projects to the student's interest. Not the other way around.

Smiling Student Sitting At Desk

1-on-1 near-peer mentorship to inspire girls to pursue computer science and STEM

"My mentor helped me come up with an exciting project to learn more about cybersecurity. I love how fun it is to work with my mentor and that I get to learn to code at the same time!"

For our older students, we can work on research projects in addition to traditional coding projects. Many of our mentors are graduate students with extensive research experience and expertise, and can provide your daughter with a unique opportunity to conduct computer science research.

Access to community events for girls to showcase their work and inspire one another

Student Portrait

"As a mentor, I want to inspire more girls to feel confident in their STEM skills and to be able to pursue a career in computer science. Girls should no longer feel like CS isn't for them."

Learning From Home

what we've learned

Role models matter 

Girls and young women don’t see examples of female scientists and engineers in books, media and popular culture. Exposing girls to successful female role models in computer science and STEM can help counter negative stereotypes because girls see that people like them can be successful and stereotype threat can be managed and overcome.

teachers often set low expectations for girls

Teachers and parents often underestimate girls’ math abilities. These lower expectations and biases are estimated to contribute to around half of the gender achievement gap in math. By highlighting girls' achievements in STEM, teachers and parents can encourage girls’ achievement and interest in math and science.

self assessment equals misassessment 

Research finds that girls assess their STEM abilities lower than do boys with similar STEM achievements. By emphasizing that girls and boys achieve equally well in math and science, parents and teachers can encourage girls to assess their skills more accurately.

early bird gets the worm

Though scientists and engineers are made in colleges and universities, the foundation for a STEM career is laid early in life. By the time girls begin higher education, many have been conditioned to believe that they cannot succeed in STEM fields. This is especially true for computer science, where computer science culture reflects the norms, desires, and interests of a subset of males—those who take an early interest in computing and pursue it with passion during adolescence and into college. Early exposure of girls to STEM encourages them to pursue a STEM career. 

not just who or how, but also what

Curriculum can also play a role in signaling who belongs in the field. Computer science programs often focus on technical aspects of programming early in the curriculum and leave the broader applications for later. This can be a deterrent to students, both female and male, who may be interested in broader, multidisciplinary applications and especially to women, who are more likely to be interested in applications of computer science and how it can be used to address broader issues in the world. Broadening the scope of early computer science curriculums creates learning opportunities that may be more interesting to girls. 

A study at Harvard University finds that if girls had as many role models of women inventors as boys have of male inventors, the gender gap in innovation could be cut in half.

how we teach

female mentors as role models

In order to empower the girls we teach as they embark on their computer science journey, we have a team of female mentors who are passionate about computer science. Each and every one of our mentors serves as both a coding mentor and as a role model. Our mentors are here not only to teach the fundamentals of computer science, but also to inspire the girls we work with. Students should feel comfortable approaching their mentor both for her assistance in learning a given topic but also for her advice, guidance, and support as a female in STEM. 

A female mentor named Elena
A female mentor named Osose
A female mentor named Anna
A female mentor named Star
A female mentor named Naomi
A female mentor named Clarisse
A female mentor named Yazmin
A female mentor named Michelina

applications oriented curriculums

Our team of mentors and curriculum specialists work on curating projects that will be most interesting to girls based in the evidence that girls are often more interested in the broader applications of computer science. Unlike traditional computer science curriculums, we don't wait until a student is an "advanced" stage of their computer science education to allow them to work on application oriented projects. Instead, we come up with creative projects that allow our students to focus on the social and broader world applications of coding, independent of how early on they are in their coding career. 

A simple Scratch project about environmental awareness

Press the green flag to animate

showcasing student work

In addition to providing our students with a supportive and nurturing environment to learn computer science, we also want to highlight our students' impressive work. Female STEM students often do not get enough recognition for their work; we want to change that. Our project showcases allow us, as a community, to recognize the hard work of our students and give them the confidence they need to excel in a male-dominated field. 

Group of girls jumping up
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