TODAY   |  October 07, 2013

Bronx school boosts girls’ confidence, creativity

New York City school Bronx Compass High is helping young girls reach their potential and break barriers by teaching them how to create video games. It gives them the confidence to stand up against stereotypes by learning skills traditionally dominated by boys. TODAY’s Natalie Morales reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> announcer: today's education nation is brought to you by exxon mobil .

>> on education nation, how some young girls are getting excited about stem, science, technology, engineering and math.

>> i caught up with these bronx students as they discovered they're just as good as those subjects as the boys.

>> i can sit here and just create and create and carreate.

>> reporter: at a pilot school bringing computer science and software engineering classes to youth girls can learn about producing beats and songs.

>> this is actually the actual game control.

>> reporter: and the basic language of code to create video games .

>> you lost me at electricity starts when --

>> sorry.

>> i'm confused.

>> reporter: meet cynthia, clarissa and geneva.

>> how many of you when you thought about coding or video gaming or music said that's something i'm interesting in? you did? was that scary or intimidating at first?

>> that was more of a guys thing. i was skeptical.

>> when i came to the school at first i was like i don't want to go to school but people that want to make the video game that's not what i want to do. but now i learned it's fun and relates to real life .

>> we found that given our population of students that bringing in the element of art and integrating it across science, technology, engineering and path that it provided more entry points and got students more excited about typical stem learning. girls do a 360 and by the end, they're sharing with the boys how to complete projects.

>> i could speak to a guy and like, you're doing that wrong and then i'll fix it and help them.

>> reporter: it's giving you confidence to the point where you're correcting the guys?

>> yes.

>> reporter: yet the national center for women and information technology tell us that most girls study science, just not computer science . and while girls are avid users of tech, women are significantly underrepresented when it comes to being creators in the tech field. so you're going to show me simple code here?

>> yeah, so this is scratch.

>> reporter: 22-year-old rebecca garcia, a white house honoree is a role model. she offered free computer science skills to a nonprofit she cofounded.

>> you can use coding and computer science and like analytical thinking combining with your creativity, you know, for any job that you're taking now. it doesn't mean you have to become a programmer and engineer but knowing that you can build something and how much work goes into the things that we use every day is pretty important.

>> you never know. we could take what we're doing now in high school and pursue it when we get older.

>> it makes me feel pretty comfortable. like i'm conquering the world and things like that.

>> and programs that emphasize stem learning are hoping to make a difference. also of note, michelle obama is putting emphasis on the importance of women and technology and is meeting with them in silicon valley this weekend.