Computer Programming is a SNAP! to Learn for Young Minority Females

Richard Whitehead, Computer Science, Northwest School of the Arts

Final Unit (PDF) Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)


This curriculum unit will introduce students to the world of computer
programming through the visual programming language called Snap!. Students will
discover and explore how computer programming allows them to create games and visual
art through graphics along with using this visual language to communicate their ideas in a
way that the computer can understand their commands in a fun and exciting way. The
unit attempts to focus on minority females because of the lack of diversity in Computer
Science (CS) today and the downward trend of representation by women of color over the
last decade. Although this industry is the fastest growing sector for jobs in the United
States, the stereotypes about computing as a discipline has turned women away from this
industry over the last several decades. This has not always been the case for women.
We, as educators, must address and reverse this negative perception of CS in America,
otherwise very few young, minority women will have the aptitude or desire to benefit
from the fruits of this expanding industry sector.