Forget Arts and Crafts and Swimming, How About Robotics and Web Design?

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Inside Girls Who Code, the summer camp where tech-obsessed girls from America recently mingled with their Middle Eastern counterparts.

By Jessica Stillman (Editor, Women 2.0)

Sometimes you come across stories about summer programs designed to help encourage girls’ interest in tech, and those are cool. Other times you hear about events that bring together women from America and the Middle East for dialogue and discussion. Those are always pretty neat too. And then very rarely, you get a piece like Anya Kamenetz’s recent Fast Company article titled “Girls (Who Code) Rule The World” that combines both kinds of awesomeness… and you smile really, really wide.

Kamanetz piece profiles a recent initiative of summer tech program Girls Who Code, an event whose vibe she encapsulated with this incredibly cheering opener (especially for those of us who aren’t exactly Beliebers):

On the ninth floor of the futuristic-looking IAC building on Manhattan’s far West Side, a hive of teenage girls were buzzing in conversation recently. But they weren’t talking about fashion or Justin Bieber. Instead, if you listen in, you’d overhear snippets like this: “My interest is robotics–I’m curious how a stoplight or an ATM works,” said Martha Ghose, a Bangladeshi girl from Manhattan, or, “I want to create new medical devices,” said Sondos Alnajjar from Jordan.

Girls Who Code, she goes on to explain, “is an eight-week summer enrichment and mentoring program for teenage girls interested in web design, robotics, and mobile development. The program was started in New York City and is happening in six cities this summer.” It includes an opportunity for participants to meet and interact with other young women from from Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and Algeria who are visiting America for a program sponsored by the State Department.

Want to read more about what the girls got up to and the programs that facilitated their meetup? Check out the complete post.

What’s the most heartening thing you’ve read about girls and tech lately?

jstillman Jessica Stillman is an editor at Women 2.0 and a freelance writer with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She writes a daily column for Inc.com and has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM and Brazen Careerist, among others. Follow her on Twitter @entrylevelrebel.

Photo credit: Josh Bancroft via Flickr.