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How RP4K Gets Girls to Code

Published on November 25, 2020 | Posted in  

Real Programming 4 Kids believes passionately in the value of STEM education, but even more than that, we believe everyone should be able to learn about their passions. Historically, careers like engineering and computer science were dominated by men, which takes a long time to undo.

According to Engineers Canada, in 2017, women make up only 22% of engineering undergrads. The same group says women make up only 13% of licensed engineers in Canada.

This type of inequality leads to numerous negative outcomes. Historically, not only were women unfairly limited in what they could study and what professions they could take up, but the fields themselves suffered because of their absence.

In one notable example of what happens when men disproportionately occupy a profession, seat belt testing standards have failed women for decades because crash test dummies were designed to approximate a typical male body.

But things are finally starting to change. The number of girls who want to enter STEM professions when they grow up is on the rise, and it’s never been more popular among kids to learn how to code. RP4K is proud to offer live online coding classes for kids that welcome all kids between the ages of 7-17.

Who Teaches at RP4K?

With your free trial class, you get a chance to meet the RP4K staff to get a sense of what classes will be like and how your child can thrive. Our instructors are all grads or undergrads in Computer Science, Engineering, or Game Design programs.

Our instructors love teaching kids, with many reporting it was the best job of their undergrad. Some of the instructors used to be RP4K students once upon a time!

The instructors we select are all incredible with children, which is a major priority for us. We believe instructors should be great with kids first and foremost because having an expert programmer who can’t relate to children undermines their learning.

RP4K began developing our curriculum in 1996, and we’ve been building and refining it ever since. Every RP4K instructor has been trained in learning and teaching RP4K’s proprietary curriculum. They have also undergone a vulnerable sector police record check because all instructors must be vetted before they begin the job.

What to Expect from Online Classes

For now, RP4K has shifted all classes online. RP4K believes in giving every student the attention they deserve. That’s why we have always had a maximum of four students per instructor.

In these courses, your kids can learn Python and Java in early and intermediate courses, and advance to learn programming languages such as JavaScript, C#, C++ and others.

Kids learn to build the games from our classic catalogue, and they can venture out and design their own game to show their class at the end of the session! But it’s very tough for young children to absorb such complex new skills when their teacher needs to attend to as many as 20 other students, the norm for coding classes in public school.

We have invested in two new pieces of equipment to revamp at-home learning: A Learning Management System and Screen Sharing software. This technology allows us to offer the same robust and comprehensive learning experience at home and in the classroom.

Parents and students can easily chart their course progress, access classroom resources more comprehensively, and incorporate home-learning opportunities between weekly classes. There are two streams of material students can work on between classes: Optional and Course Material.

The latter is bonus material, which leads to students creating a second game of their choosing, and other small problems to solve. The Course Material consists of the core part of the program, which the classes revolve around.

We Teach Programming Languages Industries Use

RP4K is proud to teach the programming languages that industries use. Many coding programs specialize in one or two languages, and as a result, kids don’t learn applicable skills they can use in the workforce.

RP4K is driven to teach children necessary problem-solving skills, how to use math in creative and resourceful ways, from the simple counting of integers to 3D vectors and trigonometry.

But we fuse these broad goals in lessons that teach specific coding languages. From Java and Python, Visual Basic, JavaScript, C#, and C++, your child can advance as far as their passion and curiosity take them.

They will learn the general skills that coding imparts and particular languages that can equip them for the workforce. These are useful skills for any child to possess.

Stories of Success

To highlight what RP4K can do for you, let’s follow up with some of the people who have passed through our system.

Dr. Vinnikov taught for RP4K for over ten years, in which time she acquired a Bachelor in Education and a Ph.D. in Computer Science. She credits RP4K with helping to develop her thesis and dissertation topic for both her Master’s and Ph.D. Now, she’s an Assistant Professor in the Department of Informatics at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, a STEM technology leader.

Other testimonials from parents of students include stories of children being excited for weekly classes, following up with the skills built in our sessions by taking engineering in university, and getting early acceptance for such programs because they were ahead of the curriculum throughout high school.

Please feel free to browse the testimonial section to get an idea of how our lessons have helped kids have fun and develop critical skills they’re sure to use later in life.

It’s only right that young girls are encouraged to do whatever interests them in life. If your daughter or daughters are curious about coding, don’t hesitate to sign them up for RP4K courses for kids to teach them to build computer games and have some fun while doing so.

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