Updated Feb 01, 2019

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Erase All kittens

Erase All Kittens is an innovative web-based platform game, designed from the ground-up to eliminate the fear that girls have of technology, and to inspire girls to code so that they can become creators rather than consumers of technology.


https://eraseallkittens.com/
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Dee Saigal

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Stage 3: Proof of Concept

Solely through word-of-mouth, the new version of E.A.K. (60 minutes content) already has 120,000 players around the world - 30% from the UK, and 44% from the US.

Our extensive research on girls and code education has been printed in several UK publications this year, including Newsweek,

(see:http://europe.newsweek.com/gender-gap-tech-widening-stem-coding-gaming-546899)


We have recently partnered with CoderDojo (1600+ code clubs globally) and this year, we are planning on making the biggest impact in Lebanon and Damascus - working with Techfugees on E.A.K coding workshops for girls. We are also creating a “Global E.A.K.” initiative where thousands of E.A.K. accounts will be given to girls in less developed areas of the world, who have access to computers at school.

Focus Areas:

Curriculum, Soft or Life Skills and Technology

Curriculum, Soft or Life Skills and TechnologySEE LESS

Implemented In:

United Kingdom

United KingdomSEE LESS

130,000
Lives Impacted to Date
1
Key Partner
1
Country Implemented In
130,000
Customers
1
Employee
$70,000
Funds Raised to Date

Problem

Most girls say that coding and engineering are "too difficult" and "more for boys", and the biggest drop-off in interest is after the age of eleven. A study by WISE has shown that if girls aren't interested in STEM before this age, they are unlikely to ever be interested. (1). Sadly, teaching girls to code has been ignored. Only 21% of the STEM workforce in the UK is made up of women (2) and the UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe, at less than 10%. Engineering is important to the UK - it contributes 26% of our GDP or £127,580,000,000 to our economy. Enabling women to meet their full potential in work could add as much as $28 trillion to annual GDP in 2025 (3).

Also, since 85% of schoolchildren will ultimately end up working in jobs that don't yet exist, there is an urgent need for inspiring young girls to learn digital skills. (4)

The nearest current state-of-the-art products for children aged 8-12 include Code Kingdoms and Swift Playgrounds. Code Kingdom's newest product, CK for Modding, is a Minecraft-related subscription service that teaches a limited range of Java skills through interactive videos and its online code editor. Code Kingdoms links 'real-world coding' with modifying aspects of Minecraft, and approximately 85-95% of the game's player base is male. Swift Playground provides puzzles to teach the concepts of coding to children in Apple's programming language Swift. However, it is widely acknowledged as far too complex and overwhelming for children aged 8-13 who have never tried coding before.

Code education tools have not been designed to appeal to girls in this age range, which is reflected in the estimated ratio of 5:1, boys to girls, in code clubs in the UK. They introduce coding in a very similar and instructional way.

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Solution

To solve this problem, we immersed ourselves in the culture of our target audience for eighteen months, analysing the most popular books, movies, cartoons and games, and started to work on a solution - Erase All Kittens (E.A.K.). E.A.K. is the first game designed from the ground-up to strongly appeal to girls aged 8-13 (without pandering to gender stereotype), maintain their interest, and equip them with professional coding skills, that can be used to create on the web.

Our prototype (60 minutes of gameplay) has been proven to eliminate fears that girls have of coding, and effectively teaches basic HTML via an 'instant results' mechanic and story-driven gameplay. This project is focused on developing an existing capability - we plan to develop similar methods to effectively teach further HTML, and CSS and Javascript to girls aged 8-13.

We are designing and building E.A.K. to deliver essential skills and capabilities to girls to prepare them for 21st Century degrees and careers, so that they can participate in the economy and society. Our goal is to allow young girls to acquire the skills to enable them to become tomorrow's innovators and creative problem-solvers. By inspiring and empowering girls at a young age, E.A.K. could help build a more diverse UK tech workforce which will drive the UK economy in the 21st century.

Target Beneficiaries

Target Audience:9-12 year olds

Although E.A.K. has been designed to strongly appeal to girls, almost half our 125,000 players are boys - so we will market our product towards parents of children aged 9-12.

Location:UK, US (first 2 years)

Data from Google Analytics on our prototype/PC version shows that the majority of E.A.K.'s players (42.95%) are from the US. The second highest number of players (29.90%) are from the UK. Next is Canada (6.16%), Australia (2.37%) and France (1.47%). This is the main reason we've decided to focus on the UK and US until 2020.

The UK has 16,786 state funded primary schools, 3208 state funded secondary schools, 2297 independent schools and 1037 special schools - approximately 2.7 million pupils aged between 9-12 (1). The US has approximately 98,271 public schools and 33,619 private schools (2) - approximately 19.2 million pupils aged between 9-12 (3).

Primary focus:B2C, code clubs

We aim to create a huge buzz around code education for kids and inspire more girls to code, as opposed to building yet another product designed primarily for educators and assessors.

Although code education hasn't been integrated into computing curriculums in the US and in many other countries, there are over 10,000 code clubs globally and this number is growing rapidly. 9 out of 10 parents in the US want their children to learn to code (4). After carrying our extensive research for twelve months, we discovered that head teachers and Computer Science teachers in the UK look to coding clubs for the most engaging tools to purchase for their schools.


Innovation Description

Most girls believe that coding is "more for boys' and 'too difficult". Erase All Kittens is the first game designed from the ground-up to inspire girls to code, and teach them practical coding languages, via highly gamified, story-driven gameplay. E.A.K.'s aim is to help close the gender gap in technology.

Competitive Advantage

Although the code education market is a crowded one, our product has two major USPs:

1). No other coding tool has been designed to strongly appeal to girls aged 9-12, and most teach code education in a very similar and instructional way, which girls don't respond to positively in general. Many coding games have been designed to appeal to boys, such as Hakitzu (fighting robots), Code Combat, and Code Kingdoms, which links coding with modifying aspects of MineCraft which is mostly played by males (85-95%).

2). Existing coding tools for children aged 9-12 teach the concepts of code - "computational thinking" - rather than practical digital skills, which are relevant to creating on the web. This has created a big gap between children learning the concepts of coding and being able to use practical skills in a meaningful way. A few tools for kids aged 9-12 e.g. Code Kingdoms, involve teaching lines of real code - however the same lines are repeated over and over again, so the educational outcome is very limited.


Planned Goals and Milestones

We are now building a 3 hour long game teaching additional programming languages with the goal being kids as young as 8 making their own simple websites
Funding Goal500,000
New Implemented CountriesUnited Kingdom

Milestones

Mar 2019
New Product or Service
A 3 hour long version to be launched teaching additional coding languages
Jul 2018
Jul 2018
Lives Impacted
130,000
Jan 2016
Created
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
United Kingdom