Girls explore creative coding at Katie DoJo


Since my return from the Code for America 2014 Summit I have replayed – virtually and literally – the images of the presenters. One image keeps recurring – the image of creative young women working with users to craft techie tools that solve real-life human needs. For so many of these young women the story was not so much about the tool but about the ways in which the app improved someone’s life. That implicit purpose seemed uniquely explicit in the presentations of dozens of young female coders.

To wit: In Detroit one young woman delved into the water shut-off mess and created an app that group sourced rapid recovery assistance from around the world. A young woman from Chicago developed an app that eased the way for young felons to expunge their criminal record, freeing them to get a job, to find an apartment, to vote. In Somerville, Massachusetts it was a team of young women who created an ethnic festival that engaged all of that diverse community. [ The videos of these and all of the scores of coder presentations are posted online for easy viewing.]

So it’s not surprising that Katie CoderDojo, in spite of the inscrutable title, caught my eye during a recent visit to the campus of St. Catherine University..

The idea behind Katie CoderDojo is that girls and young women ages 8-16 will spread their creative coding wings in a special supportive environment.

Katie CoderDojo is a joint project of the National Center for STEM Elementary Education and the Master of Library and Information Science programs at St. Catherine’s. The CSU project is a partner program of Code Savvy, a Minnesota nonprofit.

The next Katie CoderDojo is set for Sunday, October 19, 2:00-4:00 p.m. Room 19 in the Coeur de Catherine building on the CSU Campus, 2004 Randolph at Cleveland in St. Paul. Future sessions are set for November 16 and December 14. These first sessions will include introductions to Scratch and Appinventor. There is no free for participants. For girls under 13 parents are asked to remain on site.

For more information or to register click here: