Girlguiding and Google team up to inspire the next generation of female coders and engineers

12 April 2018

  • New badge will be available to 200,000 Brownies as part of Google’s Digital Adventure Challenge
  • New Digital Design badge for Rangers to be revealed as part of Girlguiding’s new revolutionised programme in the summer

Girlguiding, the UK’s largest charity for girls and young women, is partnering with Google to encourage more girls and young women to get involved in technology and inspire future female computer programmers and engineers.

Girlguiding and Google have developed a new exciting challenge for Brownies to complete, named Google’s Digital Adventure. The challenge which is being launched today, will be available to 200,000 girls aged 7- 10 years, and will provide the opportunity to develop new skills and an understanding of technology through offline tasks like creating algorithms using storyboards, and making robots to solve common problems. And of course, every girl completing the challenge will be rewarded with a special Google badge.

This comes after Girlguiding’s Girls’ Attitudes Survey 2017 found 30% of girls aged 11-16 think ICT/computing is more for boys and only 37% would consider doing a job in technology.

Girlguiding Advocate, Alice, 18, said: 

It is incredibly exciting that Girlguiding and Google are teaming up to offer more opportunities for girls to engage with technology. We hope this partnership will help to break down the gender stereotypes often preventing girls from entering STEM careers and show that technology is for everyone, regardless of gender or age.

Google Engineer Nicole McWilliams, who is leading on the collaboration with Girlguiding, said:

There is a magical moment when you make something using code and share it with the world. We think everyone should have the courage and the opportunity to give it a go and that’s why we’re partnering with Girlguiding to inspire girls to become future programmers or engineers. Rather than just using fun technology, why not go on Google’s Digital Adventure and learn how to make it?

To be awarded the badge, girls will learn about algorithms - the instructions that make computer programmes work - and why they are important for coding and computers. The girls will have the opportunity to create their own algorithms and put their own set of instructions into action by creating storyboards for everyday tasks such as getting dressed in the morning or making breakfast.

Brownies will also be challenged to design and create their own robots to solve common problems. All the activities have been designed to help girls develop skills for a digital future, without needing a computer to complete them to ensure the challenge is accessible to all Brownies.

Talking about the new Google Digital Adventure badge, Brownie Antonia, 7 said:

The activities are really fun, I learnt how to direct a robot. I think other Brownies will really enjoy it.

Matilda, 9 said:

A Google badge is really cool, I’m super excited to make a robot and get the badge.

Charlotte, 7 added:

My favourite part of completing the badge was making my own programme for my robot.

A new Digital design badge for Rangers

The partnership will also see Google sponsor and provide expertise in the development of a new Digital design badge for the Rangers section (14-18 year olds) as part of the charity’s new programme of badges and activities launching this summer.

Girlguiding’s new revolutionised programme due to be revealed in the summer, will see the biggest ever overhaul of what girls do in Girlguiding, marking the biggest investment in girls’ futures outside of the school system in the UK. Hundreds of thousands of girls will benefit from the revised programme that will equip them with all the skills and experiences they will need to thrive, succeed, make change and be happy in the modern world.

Girlguiding Advocate, Alice continued:

Technology is a vital part of today’s society and having the opportunity to learn about the subject in a safe and fun way will help ignite girls’ interest in the subject and empower girls to pursue a job in technology if they want to. Girls have told us they want to have fun digital opportunities in addition to screen-free time outdoors having adventures. The new programme - which will include a Google developed Digital design badge - has been designed to provide just that.

The new Girlguiding badges and activities will be organised around six themes, Skills for my Future, Have Adventures, Be Well, Know Myself, Express Myself and Take Action, expanding girls’ choices and equipping them with more skills and knowledge they can utilise now and in the future.