080 – Powerful Girls with Kiki Prottsman

080 – Powerful Girls with Kiki Prottsman

Powerful Girls with Kiki Prottsman

A woman’s place is in the kitchen, because that’s where we keep the computer.  –Kiki’s Dad

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[In This Episode][Guest Bio][Additional Notes][Text Transcript]

In This Episode

  • When is the best time to introduce technology to your kids?
  • Is there and advantage to introducing technical problem-solving early?
  • How do we introduce coding in kindergarten?

Today’s guest will fascinate you with the answers.

kiki03I’m sure that at some point in our lives we have heard the words, “You’re just a girl.” Those four and a half words can be very dangerous. One of my favorite Youtube videos is the “Like a girl” video. Powerful girls have always known they can do anything, but where did that power come from?

We are going to dive in head first to the topic of girls in technology, and I couldn’t have picked a better guest. Kiki Prottsman is a pro in every sense of the word. People call her a “Technological force of nature” that doesn’t sound like “just a girl” to me.

Let today’s interview sink down and resonate where it can make a difference in the world around you.

I could try to fill the last few seconds of the podcast with how awesome Kiki was, but you’ll know when you hear her. Look at Kiki’s show notes page and look up Code.org, her Youtube channel “KIKIvsIT”, her website, and the other things we put there. For more on girls in technical fields listen to our interview on the Table Top Inventing podcast with Julia Fallon.

Make a difference. Don’t just tell the girls in your life they are awesome. Give them opportunities to prove it.

Parents AND students both tell us, “We can’t believe how much learning happened in just 4 days!”

We want to help you and your kids create the future!

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Guest Bio

Kiki Prottsman is Education Program Manager at Code.org and a former computer science instructor at the University of Oregon. As a champion for responsible computing and equity in both CS employment and education, Kiki works with many organizations to improve the experience of girls and women in STEM. Her landmark work with the Hands­on Traveling Circuits computer science curriculum helped Thinkersmith receive the 2013 Google RISE Award for excellence in Science and Engineering. She currently sits on the Advisory Board for Wonder Workshop Robotics, and is a member of the Leadership team for the Oregon Girls Collaborative Project. In her free time, she likes to paint and blog for the Huffington Post.

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Additional Notes

Connect with Kiki:

❏ Twitter: @KIKIvsIT

❏ LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/prottsman

❏ Facebook: facebook.com/KIKIvsIT

❏ YouTube: youtube.com/KIKIvsIT

Additional Links:

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About Teachers

It’s more a thought about teachers. How unfortunate is it that everyone can pick out the one or two “good” teachers who made a difference in their lives and saved them from an otherwise boring path? Shouldn’t education instead be full of “amazing” teachers, and instead it’s the bad ones that stand out as anomalies?

Favorite Quotes

“It doesn’t matter whether the glass is half full or half empty. I am going to drink it through this crazy straw!” ~Softer World 679

“Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler.” ~Albert Einstein

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” ~Douglas Adams

“Obstacles are there to get in our way. If we don’t let them get in our way, they aren’t obstacles anymore.” ~Kiki Prottsman

“Don’t Panic.” ~Douglas Adams

Something Kiki Made Recently

The boys and I painted a huge landscape last night!



Something Kiki Learned Recently

App Lab: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1St8LB4VJA&feature=youtu.be

Text Transcript Coming Soon!

“Just having that thought in the student’s head, ‘Wow, no one has ever done this before,” and then they succeed. Those are the skills we are building at that young age [3 & 4 year olds], and persistence–trying over and over again… having those things at that age are so fundamental to building a good thinker and a confident student. If you’re a confident student, then your attitude toward learning for the rest of your life is going to be much, much different. That’s what we focus on for little ones.” –Kiki Prottsman

“I was thinking one day about what a pity it was that people didn’t understand how creative computer science is, because it is really such an art form. It’s just as creative as poetry. It’s just as creative as painting, and it also has actual utility. It’s like creating art that people can then use and appreciate and it will help them in their lives.” –Kiki Prottsman


“When you’re in technology groups the tendency for a girl to sit back and let the boys do it because the boys want to do it really badly–it’s there. So being able to facilitating groups with the ‘everybody gets to drive’ mentality and the ‘this is a safe space and everybody will make mistakes and it’s perfectly ok to make mistakes and it is not ok to make fun of people when they make mistakes’ mentality. That is where all of that power comes from.

If you can give everybody that feeling that it’s ok to try and fail–even in front of boys because the boys are going to try and then fail and their not going to get any skin off their nose for it. That’s where you start to get the power coming from the girls. It’s just a beautiful thing. That carries over… Girls are going to start thinking differently about her ability to do math when boys are watching and about her ability to read out loud when boys are watching. It’s a confidence thing that carries through all around.” –Kiki Prottsman

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