By Sara Santora, Newsweek
As the tech sector continues to grow, the number of women in STEM-related fields continues to decrease. According to Girls Who Code, 37% of computer scientists in the ’90s were women, but today, women only make up 24% of all computer scientists.
Research shows that this disparity starts when girls are still in school. Due to a variety of reasons — including lack of exposure, lack of interest, etc.—fewer girls study computer science while still in junior and senior high. As a result, fewer girls choose to study computer science at the university level, and from there, even fewer secure careers in the field.
The female founders behind Erase All Kittens (EAK) understand the importance of exposing girls to coding when young, which is why they’ve created a “Mario-style” web-based game with the aim of teaching girls how to code.
As first reported by TechCrunch, EAK has reached 160,000 players in over 100 countries. And now, EAK has raised $1 million in seed funding to take the game to new heights.
Excited to announce that we’ve raised $1M to build and launch the new version of Erase All Kittens – thanks for the writeup @mikebutcher! @TechCrunch https://t.co/FoCMdJUZns #startup #impactinvesting #edtech
— Erase All Kittens (@EraseAllKittens) April 29, 2021
EAK told TechCrunch that 55% of the game’s players are girls, 95% of whom want to learn more about coding after playing the game. This is largely because EAK is designed differently than the educational tools that most young girls and boys are used to.
The founders of EAK explained to TechCrunch that because most coding education tools for children are designed by men, those tools appeal more to young boys. According to EAK, these male-designed tools tend to teach “repetitive coding, in a very rigid, instructional way.” As a result, most young girls display a general lack of interest in coding, which leads to the disparity seen in STEM-related careers.
But those behind EAK believe they’ve found the solution.