Girls Who Game Launches Across North America to Encourage and Mentor Girls in STEM

Women graduate with university degrees at a higher rate than men do, however only 20% of women who attended a post-secondary program opted for a STEM degree, whereas over 40% of post-secondary men did the same Because of this, it’s essential that young girls are presented the right opportunities and education in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). This starts by giving girls access to technology and getting them excited about using it, allowing them to thrive in today’s interconnected and diverse society.

To achieve just that, Dell Technologies and Microsoft have partnered to launch Girls Who Game; a program focused on increasing young girls’ access to technology to prepare them for success in a digital world. The extracurricular gaming program provides female students the opportunity to learn through play with a focus on building global competencies and computational thinking through Minecraft: Education Edition. The program establishes a girl-centric ecosystem that empowers young girls to learn from one another and build confidence in a secure and positive space.

The Girls Who Game program aims to achieve three goals:

  • Provide authentic application and engage female students (grades 4-8) in learner-driven experiences that broaden their knowledge, skills and dispositions within STEM-related fields.
  • Develop mentorship by fostering the pursuit of academic and career aspirations of young women.
  • Build a community of learners by using gaming to build relationships, amplify success, and promote reflection for continued growth and ongoing feedback.

Dell and Microsoft will be providing Dell Latitude 3190 laptops, equipped with Minecraft: Education Edition. Dell and Microsoft Learning Design Specialists will also provide ongoing professional development for coaches and for the girls in order to build knowledge, confidence, and advocacy in STEM disciplines. The program is rolling out in schools across Canada and the US.

Real-World Challenge

Dell’s and Microsoft’s collaboration supports game-based learning using Minecraft: Education Edition to provide experiences for students to develop and practice their collaboration, creativity and critical thinking and problem-solving skills.  The girls in participating schools use design thinking to solve a real-world challenge and then create a solution using Minecraft: Education Edition. The focus is not on technical skills, but rather how the tool can amplify their global competencies.

Mentorship Program

It’s critical for young women to have mentors in STEM, whether that’s a teacher, a parent, or someone in the workforce. According to study by Microsoft, girls who are encouraged by their parents are twice as likely to stay in STEM. The mentorship program tied to Girls Who Game provides girls access to mentors from Dell and Microsoft to foster the advancement of young women. Mentors will virtually facilitate opportunities to inspire, educate and equip girls from the program with authentic application of necessary knowledge, skills and dispositions to be successful professionals. Serving as positive role models, these mentors will strive to motivate these young girls, building self-respect and self-esteem by helping them set goals and work toward accomplishing them.

UPDATE: One thing to note is that the program is remaining a pilot program for the time being

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