Just days after becoming the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner in history, Yousafzai took to YouTube to implore young women and girls in every country to do one hour of code. “You can do it, even if you don’t have a computer,” she tells the audience.
The program was backed with support from President Obama and a slew of other politicians, celebrities and tech giants such as Microsoft and Google through a grass roots campaign last December. The idea was to get every student to try their hand at coding.
Code.org founders Hadi and Ali Partovi expected to reach about 5 million students at the beginning of last year’s campaign. Hour of Code has now reached 40 million students in over 200 countries over the course of the year. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates provided some of those online tutorials, and many prominent tech companies pledged their support with time, money and general messaging about the campaign. The goal this year is to train 10,000 computer science teachers and get 100 million students to do one hour of code.
Code.org is stepping up efforts to include more diversity in the program, too. About 48 percent of this year’s participants were girls, and the program is now available in over 30 languages.
“Computer science is foundational for all students, not just the ones who want to be software engineers,” says Hadi. “The Hour of Code is introducing tens of millions of girls of all ages to this historically male-dominated field, and millions of these girls will continue learning beyond their first hour.”
The Partovi brothers have launched a new Indiegogo campaign to raise $5 million in order to now reach those students and teachers on a global level. Many of the same donors from the previous year have pledged to promote the program and to match dollar-for-dollar every amount of money raised on Indiegogo. A donation of $500 will get you a “CODE Like a Girl” hoodie.
There are 63 days left before the end of the campaign on December 14. The total raised is currently just over $85,000, including matching donations.