DENVER (CBS4) – BraveCamp is a one-week program that teaches girls how to code, but the impact of their problem solving reaches far beyond their screens. Students use their new skills to design websites that tackle problems in their communities.
“We wanted to create an environment where the girls felt safe and supported. They could look at how coding is relevant to the issues they care about in the world,” said Emily Harburg, co-founder of Brave Initiatives.
Harburg is also the Director of Emerging Technology & Innovation at EF. Each BraveCamper is paired with an EF staff mentor to find solutions to different community issues.
A group earlier this summer used their coding to help the environment. This week, students from Adams 12 Five Star Schools and Jefferson County Public Schools will design websites that address bullying and cyberbullying.
Computer coding is a foreign language to most children, but bullying is something many know too well.
“It’s a topic that the girls really have ownership over because they’re seeing it everywhere. It’s affecting their schools and the environment around them. We thought they could utilize their experiences and make an impact in their schools right now,” said Harburg.
After students learn the basics of coding, they’ll conduct interviews to hear other’s personal bullying experiences. Then, the girls will pitch their web design ideas to other members of BraveCamp.
BraveCamper Santana Pena plans to create and online forum for victims of bullying to get support.
“I feel like we could put a lot of people’s stories and stuff on the website to help people understand that it’s not just you. We could have people talk about their experiences and try to help other people with their problems,” said Pena.
It’s a big task for a 6th grade girl, but the earlier she learns, the more people she can help.
“I want to help kids who were abused or have trouble at home,” said Pena.
This is the first time a BraveCamp has been hosted in Denver. The creators of Brave Initiative plan to schedule more local camps in the future.