LittleBits, Disney and UC Davis joined forces to launch of Snap the Gap, a non-profit program created to offer girls a jump start into the vastly important and growing realm of STEM learning.
Snap the Gap, a one-year pilot program, focused on 15,000 10-year-old girls based in California and includes an online program, littleBits starter pack and a one-year mentorship with a STEM professional. Participant and mentor recruitment will be managed by UC Davis, the school behind the California Million Women Mentors program.
New York-based littleBits has long been focused on getting young minds interested in STEM, both in and out of the classroom. “It was always part of littleBits’ mission to inspire more girls to get into STEM,” stated CEO Ayah Bdeir. “We’ve had lots of initiatives leading to it, but this is the biggest and boldest thing that we’ve done.”
Disney isn’t the only family-friend company embracing coding. Lego announced Spike Prime, a new robotics product focused on teaching middle-school aged students coding, technical problem-solving and prototyping.
Their goal is to use foundation lessons and fun activities with a $330 kit that includes Technics bricks and a Scratch-based app. Some of the activities that are geared to make programming more appealing and approachable to kids are whattup and a breakdancing robot. Lesson plans for teachers are available so they can easily incorporate the concepts in the classroom without having to take coding courses that make their heads spin.