We’re regularly reporting on the many reasons why girls should learn to code (take, for instance, that it can be the key to leading the way in innovation in all sorts of fields. Or, the jaw-dropping stat that jobs in computer science will be the highest paying sector over the next decade, paying almost $15K more than average. LAAAADIES!). Here’s yet another incentive to add to that long list: Google just let girls *code* their way to New York Fashion Week through its educational initiative, Made With Code.
Created to show that coding goes way beyond the computer screen, Made With Code encourages young women to use computer science skills to help bring their big ideas and passions to life.
In this case, girls who love fashion got the chance to code designs that flashed, fluttered and glowed on a special LED dress designed by acclaimed fashion designer and Project Runway judge Zac Posen and in partnership with Maddy Maxey, a 22-year-old Made With Code mentor, fashion technologist and all-around rockstar. After incorporating girls’ coded designs the dress was unveiled in a really cool way: worn by Coco Rocha on the runway at Fashion Week. Finale-worthy? We think so.
If you’ve ever dreamed of using code to make the things you love, Made With Code should be your starting point. Projects are easy to learn and, honestly, pretty addicting — it kind of feels like you’re putting together a (really, really pretty) puzzle. Drag and drop the code into place, customize variables like size and color of the lights, which change as you alter the numbers right before your eyes (a visual component that made it very easy to follow for a non-coder like me) and animate the design to float across the dress.
If you’re a budding Stella McCartney and want to design a dress like the one featured at NYFW, head to Re:Make, Brit + Co’s annual maker conference and festival held in San Francisco this Friday, September 11 and Saturday, September 12. During the two-day bash, Google will park its Made With Code truck — a mobile coding center — in the middle of the action for attendees to code their own version of the LED dress. Can’t make it to the West Coast? You can keep your fingers busy on your keyboards wherever you are by visiting MadeWithCode.com. The dress — and potentially your design — will keep popping up in high-profile places after NYFW (think: creating a major red carpet moment).
While the payoff was undeniably cool for the girls — add “digital fashion designer” to your resume just like that — for Made With Code, it’s the act of bringing the group together that means the most. According to a report published by the Girl Scout Research Institute in 2012, 74% of girls express an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in middle school, but, based on numbers from The New York Times Magazine, only 0.3% of girls plan to major in computer science by the time they go to high school. By creating a community that fosters encouragement, exploration and shows the many ways coding translates into real world things from a must-DL app to innovations in medical technology and even the next big fashion trend, Made With Code aims to increase the number of women who kill it in tech. Who knows? It could be you.
Have you ever tried coding? What projects would you kickstart with the skills you learned from Made With Code? Tell us in the comments below.
(Photos via Google; runway photos via Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Google)
This post is a collaboration with Google Made With Code