Focus On: How Jewelbots Electronically Empowers Girls to Code and Connect
You might expect friendship bracelets to be basic and campy, but Brooke Moreland and Sara Chips (pictured below, illustrated by Samantha Hahn) of Jewelbots are updating the childhood staple for the 21st century. Today’s data-driven daughters expect more out of their wearables, and Jewelbots delivers opportunities for both inspiration and fun. In our chat with Brooke and Sara, we explore the sensational synergy of girl power and high-powered tech.
You call Jewelbots “Friendship Bracelets” — Is friendship their main goal?
The goal of Jewelbots is to introduce girls to computer science in a fun, relevant, and social way. People are inspired to learn new skills because they want to make something awesome. We designed Jewelbots to be open source, to allow girls to create their own functionality to be connected with their friends in unique ways. We can’t wait to see what they come up with.
So the fun and friendship is girls’ gateway to new skills.
We want girls to have access to all of the opportunities that boys do. Tech jobs are the future and we want girls to have all of the skills required to compete in tomorrow’s economy. By introducing girls to computer science at a young age, we hope to foster their curiosity and help them develop the skills they will need to keep learning and growing throughout their careers.
That’s a very feminist goal. Do you consider yourselves feminists?
We consider ourselves feminists and hope that the younger generation of girls does too. Feminism is not a bad or scary word.
Coding isn’t something stereotypically considered “girly” — Do you see that as an obstacle?
We celebrate the fact that we are girls. We are smart, we are capable and we love everything about being a girl. It’s 2016, being ‘girly’ can mean whatever you want it to be, and that is wonderful.
That’s an inspiring message! Any parting advice or words of wisdom for girls today who may be reading?
Don’t be ashamed of who you are or what you like to do. Don’t try to fit anyone else’s mold of what a “good woman” or feminist should look like. Pursue what interests you, take advice from those who inspire you, and keep your mind open!
JewelBots is coming soon! You can preorder them (that link here) or check out their DIY kit in-STORY!