We know that the goal of teaching future generations to code will make big strides within the next year. There are already some pretty ambitious ideas out there, like video games and adorable yet highly sophisticated robots. But Code Academy alum Linda Liukas has another idea that she hopes will help tickle the collective imaginations of our youngsters and get them to daydream about the world of computers…
She’s writing a book.
Liukas is the founder of Rail Girls, a non-profit that teaches computer programming to women in cities around the globe. Her proposed children’s book, Hello Ruby, made its debut on Kickstarter this morning and quickly smashed its $10,000 funding goal after just 3.5 hours. (As of this writing, the project sits at $39,000 with nearly 900 backers.)
The story follows the adventures of–you guessed it–a girl named Ruby, a “small girl with a huge imagination.” Liukas says:
Ruby’s world is an extension of the way I’ve learned to see technology. It goes far beyond the bits and bytes inside the computer. This is the story of what happens between the ones and zeros, before the arrays and the if/else statements.
The goal with Hello Ruby–which comes with a companion activity book for programming exercises–is to make kids realize writing software is about more than numbers on a screen; it’s about “expression, creativity–and practical application,” Liukas adds.
“Our kids should learn to bend, join, break, and combine code in a way it wasn’t designed to,” she says. “Just as they would with crayons and paper or wood and tools. I believe there’s plenty to learn in programming logic and culture before showing children a single screen.”