Wed Apr 17, 2024 | In News

Empower Male Youth Through Coding

Can we intellectually, socially, and politically empower boys and young men by simply teaching them how to code? The simple answer is: YES.

Coding (programming) is the future and even if youth aren’t interested in a career in technology (although estimates predict the need for over 200,000 programmers in Canada by 2020), coding is a great way to empower our youth.

1. STEM (Science, Technology, Environment, Math) are important subject areas that help youth to better understand and interact with the emerging science/technology world we’re living in today. Computers and computerized systems are, and will continue to be, everywhere. Learning how to code will become a necessity. Learning how to code means youth speak the language of technology and won’t be socially or economically behind.

2. Coding integrates learning, the application of knowledge and solution exploration in a way we haven’t seen since the invention of the TV. Coding will change/improve the way youth think about and approach problem solving. Problem solving is a skill they’ll need for a lifetime.

3. Besides being a fun way to spend their time, coding offers youth the opportunity to develop their creativity. Creative minds belong to healthier, happier, more thoughtful youth, according to Kelley Mayo, author of “Creativity, Spirituality and Mental Health” (2016).

4. With so few people of color in the tech industry, teaching our youth how to code provides them with opportunities to teach and support others in the community less inclined to learn coding. Through coding, our youth become leaders in their communities because they possess knowledge that is useful and valuable to others. That is very powerful.

5. Coding (inadvertently) teaches perseverance. Learning how to code is much like learning a new language. There are numerous obstacles, road blocks and challenges learners encounter, but through trial and error (and practice), youth learn how to plan and execute tasks, how to be detail oriented, and the importance of never giving up.

On the surface, coding seems like an extra-curricular activity that doesn’t require a second thought. But in reality, encouraging our youth to learn coding (or other STEM related skills) is not optional any more. Coding is empowering – helping youth to develop important skills they can use throughout their lifetime, positioning them as leaders, connecting them with an ever-changing world that requires a specific skill set. Coding is enlightening, empowering and essential.