November 27, 2018
Did you know stereotypes have an impact on children’s aspirations by the age of 6? Kids begin associating jobs to genders at that age, and they model their interests to what they’re exposed to. Add to that the 10,000-hour principle to become world-class in any field, these formative years are prime moments to get started at being amazing at your future. And we can help by planting seeds in early childhood, that can grow into hobbies, and later, fulfilling careers.
My niece has developed an obsession for—surprise—princesses very young. In large part thanks to Elsa and Anna who have been her biggest role models. Sometimes, like an old-fashioned fart, I wish a fraction of this princess obsession could be fueled towards more productive and purpose-driven activities…like coding. Why? Because I want to see an army of coding-obsessed girl geeks who will turn into the Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerbergs of tomorrow—shaping our future with their diverse perspectives. What do Bill and Mark have in common? They started their computer obsession young. And today, 10% of tech executives are women. That means that 90% of our future is controlled by one perspective. And with AI, AR and VR shaping our world, now more than ever we need to plant seeds in tomorrow’s diverse tech workforce.
There is definitely a lesson to be learned from Disney princesses. They’re. So. Fricking. Cool. And exciting. And powerful.
That’s what we set out to do. Make technology cool, exciting, and powerful. And something else: actionable.
Rox’s Secret Code just launched in bookstores nationwide, and it’s a new picture book for kids between ages 4 and 7 about a robot engineer who has a superpower: she can make any toys she imagines come to life. She also wears a badass biker jacket and tutu and loves ponies, dolls and race cars. We celebrate diversity of race, gender, interests and passions. The book then takes inspiration into action with its own free AR coding game that teaches kids coding principles by bringing their own custom robot to life in their living rooms.
Rox loves building and coding robots: she has a Brocc Bot that hides broccoli. She has PonyBots ready to lead a revolution. And when her dad wants Rox to stop playing and clean her room—or he will take away her computer—she decides to create a robot that does her chores for her. Now that is something a lot of kids can get behind. (And adults, tbh.) And we follow on Rox’s adventures as she builds a robot who becomes so smart with a secret code, that things spin out of control until she saves the day.
Rox’s Secret Code is an empowering and fun story that doesn’t shy away from coding language. As a former child coder, I wanted to convey the power you feel when you program a creation that comes to life out of your fingertips—just like how Elsa throws ice flairs out of her hands, Rox throws her coding superpowers at her problems. And saves the day.
Rox’s Secret Code redefines the robot engineer role model for both girls and boys. Our mission is not only to inspire girls and minorities but also normalize the idea that women of color can be aspirational technology trailblazers for boys to see, admire and one day work for.
Get Rox’s Secret Code and its AR coding game on www.yoursecretcode.com
Available on Amazon for 11.99.