Erase All Kittens
Our solution's stage of development:Early
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.
The vast majority of girls perceive code education as being "more for boys", "too difficult" and "boring". This is because computer science has been taught in ways which haven't been inspirational for most girls, or maintained their interest. Unfortunately, teaching girls to code has largely been ignored. The WISE campaign found that if girls aren't interested in STEM subjects by the age of 11, they are unlikely to ever become interested. Our goal is to completely transform how girls aged 8-13 perceive code education and software engineering, and to empower them with practical 'real-world' skills.
Why our solution will solve the problem:
We carried out 18 months research - interviewing hundreds of girls and immersing ourselves in their culture; analysing the most popular cartoons, games and books. As a result, solely through word-of-mouth, Erase All Kittens has 125,000 players in over 100 countries, and 53% are girls (avg. for other tools is less than 18%). Data from 11,000 feedback forms has shown that 95% of girls want to learn more about coding after playing E.A.K. After twelve months of beta-testing with Oasis Academies, E.A.K. was shown to inspire girls to become researchers, teachers, problem solvers, writers and designers, as well as coders.
Our target outcomes:
Our aim is to positively impact the lives of at least one million girls - inspiring them to code via story-driven gameplay, and equipping them with practical skills required to create simple websites and web apps. Initial focus: girls aged 8-13 in the UK, US and Canada, via selling E.A.K. to schools and parents, and forming distribution partnerships, e.g. CoderDojo, Girls Who Code, Microsoft Education. For every E.A.K. account bought, one will be offered to a girl in Syria, Lebanon and India - via schools, coding workshops and hackathons. Our aim is to help close the gender gap in tech.
The populations we will benefit initially:
The regions we will benefit initially:
The technologies we employ:
Why our solution is unique:
Erase All Kittens (E.A.K.) is the world's first code education tool, built from the ground-up to inspire girls aged 8-13 to code. Our solution is innovative because we immersed ourselves in the culture of our target audience for eighteen months and invented a highly gamified, story-driven approach to teach unfamiliar, practical coding skills to young girls.
E.A.K. is also the first game that effectively bridges the huge gap between young girls learning 'computational thinking' (the concepts of coding) and being able to apply practical 'real-world' skills in a creative way on the web, as a professional developer would.
Why our solution is human-centered:
Our solution, E.A.K. is designed to strongly appeal to girls aged 8-13. Solely through word-of-mouth, E.A.K. has over 125,000 players and 53% of them are girls. Since most of our traction has come from the UK, US and Canada, we'll focus on selling E.A.K. to schools there, whilst launching a one-for-one initiative to reach girls in Syria, Lebanon and India. We are working with Techfugees and recently donated 100 E.A.K. accounts to girls in Damascus via their coding workshops. We regularly interview girls from different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds in the UK, to ensure that our solution fits their needs.
How people will access our solution:
As our solution is an online platform game which can either be played online or downloaded without much assistance from teachers or parents, it will be very affordable and accessible for the communities we are targeting. E.A.K. will be deployed primarily through primary and secondary school purchases in the UK, US and Canada, and via distribution partnerships with organisations including Microsoft Education, Barclays and CoderDojo. With regards to our one-for-one initiative (distributing free accounts to girls in Syria, India and Lebanon) - we are currently implementing this scheme via partnerships with Techfugees and Teach Lebanon.
Technology-Readiness Level:6-8 (Demonstration)
How we will sustain our team financially:
My co-founder and I are raising £200K investment funding to provide us eighteen months, and we have secured £100K. £100K will go towards building our solution with award-winning London-based games studio Playerthree, and the remaining funds will go towards salaries for the co-founders, an educational specialist / salesperson, and a business development manager - so that the team can work full-time on this project. As we scale, we aim to capture 2% of the market (estimated 22 million students in the UK and US aged 8-13), by selling E.A.K. to schools (initially focusing on academy chains, girls schools and independent schools), distribution companies, e.g. Microsoft Education, and parents. In 2018, E.A.K. (5 hours content) will be priced at £450 per year, and in 2019, E.A.K. (8 hours content) will be priced at £650 per year. For parents, E.A.K. will cost £1 per per month or £14.99 from January 2018 onwards.
The factors limiting our success:
How long we have been working on our solution:3 years
How long it will take to develop a pilot:We have already developed a pilot.
Our expected annual budget:
How much of our budget we've secured to date:
Our promotional materials:
We're looking for partners in these fields:
Why we're applying to Solve:
We are applying to Solve because this is our first business, and we are working on creating the first coding tool that effectively inspires girls and equips them with professional coding skills.
We have succeeded in eliminating the fear that young girls have of coding (at the crucial age of 8-13) and inventing ways to teach basic HTML and CSS skills effectively - we now require further resources and expertise in the areas of code education, education software distribution and international business development, to truly succeed in our mission - helping to close the gender gap in tech.
Our current partners:
CoderDojo - Distribution
Techfugees - One-for-one scheme
Playerthree Games Studio - Development
Microsoft Education - Distribution
BBC - Exhibiting at events
Web We Want - Exhibiting at events
Mozilla Foundation - Exhibiting at events
Girls Day School Trust - Exhibiting at events
The Duke of York iDEA initiative - Distribution