Schooling in SWFL

Dunbar Inspires Girls to Code

There are ten males to every female. That’s the reality for girls like Ana Monroy in Fort Myers Dunbar High School’s engineering classes. It’s also true for most engineering fields.

But Ana doesn’t feel outnumbered at all. She enjoys standing alongside her techy male friends and thrives in the gender-neutral atmosphere that Dunbar has created for its students.

Ana is a part of the engineering club in Dunbar. When you step into class, don’t be surprised to see jerking wooden robots jolting along the floor and boys and girls alike writing code for mock gaming systems like it’s their first language.

It’s all a part of Dunbar’s strong S.T.E.M. curriculum. That stands for science, math, technology and mathematics. S.T.E.M. programs and occupations have considerable gender gaps in the workforce. Educators are seeing that and are implementing S.T.E.M. in their lesson plans to pique the interest of students.

This new curriculum works for students like Ana. She not only works on robotics engineering but also codes. We asked her how learning and implementing gaming systems herself has changed the way she sees gaming systems like the Xbox One. She finds them more attainable.

Southwest Florida girls like Ana are tying up their ponytails and cracking the code. She may be the designer of the next Xbox or create a new biomedical engineered pacemaker. Regardless of what she becomes, Dunbar High School is encouraging students like her to close the gender gap and explore the S.T.E.M opportunities available.