Approximately 20% of undergraduate computer science majors are female. We want to close that gap. Programming can seem intimidating, uncreative, and unappealing to young girls – trust us, we’ve been there. That’s why we built Orb, a multi-level challenge game that teaches programming logic through a creative, story-oriented environment.

What it does

We strive to gamify the code-learning experience in a way that attracts young girls and those who are otherwise scared away by technical ideas of “coding.” It turns out coding isn’t as hard as you might think. Play our game, and you too can run the world.

How we built it

We developed a Javascript-based web game loaded onto an AWS S3 server. We also used HTML/CSS to style our website, and Photoshop to develop graphics.

Challenges we ran into

How do we attract young girls to programming? How do we make programming less intimidating? How do we defy stereotypes of programming being technical - in effect, how do we demonstrate that programming is creative? How do we make this accessible? How do we gamify the learning experience?

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're most proud of our thorough plan. Although we weren't able to accomplish as much as we liked due to technical difficulties and other development challenges, we believe our gamification ideas and comprehensive programming curriculum hold strong potential for changing the future of young girls in STEM.

What we learned

We learned how to rapidly prototype ideas on-the-fly. We learned how to configure an AWS back-end. We learned how to build Javascript games. And we learned, most importantly, how we all have different perspectives on learning programming - dependent entirely on our backgrounds, identities, and personal values. This was essential to better understanding how we can orient our hack for maximum social good.

What's next for Run The World

Speak with others in this space - Scratch and more - to make young girls a key target demographic for online apps, websites, and services that teach programming.

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