Written by Elise Vider
Girls just want to have… parity in the tech world.
With the aim of addressing gender inequality in the sector, Drexel University’s Entrepreneurial Game Studio is working with the Philadelphia nonprofit TechGirlz to create a virtual game design class that will be made available, free-of-charge, to schools and students nationwide.
This set of self-contained, online instructional videos and educational materials will guide middle school and high-school-age students – and their teachers – through a basic game design curriculum.
“Our goal is to give young women a little taste of game design,” explains Frank Lee, an associate professor in Westphal College of Media Arts & Design and founder of the Entrepreneurial Game Studio. “Many of them are already playing video games, but we’re hoping our workshops will inspire them to ask questions about how they’re made, and think about how they could make them better. We want to make a program that is useful and engaging enough that students will get enough basic coding knowledge to make a simple game.”
“Our goal for this program is to make sure girls understand what technology is all about and how they can be part of it,” adds Tracey Welson Rossman, founder of TechGirlz. “This particular program is targeted to increase the number of girls who understand how cool creating games can be.”
Participants in TechGirlz’ ongoing workshops and summer programs are currently testing the game design curriculum for an anticipated fall launch. According to Welson Rossman, the nonprofit is also planning to expand its workshop offerings nationwide.