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The Capital One Coders Ignite program helped girls develop a greater interest in STEM and get excited about technology during a critical period in their education. Since June, various groups of students from Girls Inc of Metropolitan Dallas have been working with Capital One mentors to learn block based programming and design to create Android applications.

Block based programming is useful for novices since it provides easy operations and improves the readability of programs. The learning focuses on combining visual blocks that represent elements such as operations and variables. Students learned basic concepts of programming and processing. On July 26, Girls Inc. students from North Texas including Plano ISD’s C.A. McMillen High School learned how to design a mobile app at the one-day event which took place at the Capital One Conference Center in Plano.

“I feel if I take tech classes in high school and college, that I will have an easier time, since I’m putting those skills into practice with this Coding program,” said Lei Scott, 10th grader at C.A. McMillen High School.

The event is part of Capital One’s Coders program which perfectly aligns with its Future Edge initiative. In 2015, Capital One launched Future Edge, an initiative that pledged $150 million over five years to help prepare more Americans with the skills, tools and resources they need to succeed in an ever-changing digitally-driven economy. As part of this initiative, Future Edge DFW symbolizes Capital One’s commitment to make Dallas-Fort Worth a destination for top talent, spur growth as a world-renowned technology hub and nurture leaders of tomorrow.

Capital One’s Coders program is a great example of how Future Edge is having a positive impact by helping students develop skills for the 21st century. The Coders program is part of Capital One’s commitment to ensure young people have the necessary resources to understand and explore their interests in STEM. To bridge the STEM education gap,Capital One created the Coders curriculum to help students understand and pursue their interests in STEM fields as early as their middle school years.

Through the program, students learn the basic principles of software development and how to create their own apps by exploring touchscreens, learning about motion detection, control and coding. Students also learn how to develop apps for mobile language devices and grow in computation thinking skills like algorithms, abstraction, decomposition, pattern recognition and generalization, so they can continue working on what they have learned beyond the program and explore on their own. Since the creation of the Coders Program in 2014, Capital One has worked with approximately 700 students in North Texas. Students worked on computer coding and applications on their tablets along with Capital One mentors.

“I want to become a vet and need technology to help animals and to see what’s going on inside animals’ bodies and their vital signs. I hope to develop an app of do’s and don’ts of what to look for if you’re worried about your pet. It will give you information about how to help your pet at home before you spend a lot of money taking your animal to the vet,” Scott stated.

Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas believes every girl deserves experiences that will help enable her to earn her education and become a healthy, independent and thriving adult. At Girls Inc. Dallas, the focus is on teaching girls to value themselves, take risks as well as discover and develop their strengths. Through a combination of long-lasting mentoring relationship and research-based programming, girls are equipped to navigate gender, economic and social barriers as well as grow up prepared for postsecondary success and 21st century careers.




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