The Bit Bus works to eliminate the gender gap in the workforce, specifically tech, by equipping girls with computer science skills and providing them with workshops. This will be accomplished by remodeling a bus to have desks with laptops, as well as devices to facilitate computer science education, such as raspberry pi. Areas with poor computer science programs will be targeted and it will be brought to schools and children's organisations on weekends to give the workshop to the girls there.
At a Glance
How Can You Help?
Advised by the Exchange
Advisement from local innovation groups
Provide resources, best practices, tool kits, research, data, etc
I have appointed a basic board of directors whom I am in contact with, and have coded a mockup website. I have means of attaining a bus and laptops, though I first need to gain 501(c)(3) nonprofit status to attain either. As of now, I am beginning to draft articles of incorporation.
How does your innovation work?
I plan to use curriculum from Code.org to get started with elementary students, though as the students progress, it would be best to move from drag and drop languages to HTML/CSS to create webpages guided by Codecademy for middle schoolers. Then, High Schoolers would start with free labs from the learn.co platform. We will travel to at least one school monthly and I expect for this to be a schoolwide event, so about 20 girls to join at the beginning, in intervals due to the number of seats to be available.
What Evidence do you have that your Innovation works?
My innovation has the capabilities to be successful, as programs such as Built by Girls and Black Girls Code both have proved to be successful in bringing together girls and teaching them the wonders of computer science. My program brings the resources to them, and is much less of an investment for those who participate, so it is likely to ring in several students.
What is your strategy for expanding use of your innovation?
I will recruit students by communicating with schools, posting advertisements around my community including its websites, and create social media pages to gain attention of parents. I will need to host several fundraisers to kickstart this initiative due to the costliness of buses being upwards 2,000 dollars and, since the majority of at-risk youth (in my county) live somewhere in the City of Los Angeles, I will communicate with Mayor Eric Garcetti to find a way to best implement this program across schools. I hope to participate in more youth pitch competitions as well to gain funding to lift this off the ground.
Once the bus is “built” I will begin communicating with schools that do not offer much in computer science, or that lack computers altogether so that I can begin arranging my first trips, the first at which being at my former elementary school, Plum Canyon Elementary (charity begins at home, after all). As funding accelerates, I would like to communicate with Mayors of other cities with at-risk youth across the country, such as Detroit, Chicago, and New York City. This will allow my initiative to have a greater effect on children everywhere and take computer science education to the next level.