Zoey’s room ” is an award-winning online communtiy for girls in middle-school which encourages creativity through science, technology, engineering and math. Zoey, a non-white (African American, Hispanic?) animated character, is joined by her cat Pixel. The page features the Z-board and ZR Lobby, a girls only discussion board and chat room, respectively. Also “Tec-Trek,” online activities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).  ZR started as a space for girls ages 10-14 in Maine in 2001. By 2005 it had grown to reach girls across the nation. The umbrella organization of Zoey’s Room is Platform Shoes Forum, that develops “innovative online programs for tweens.”

Along with the special features noted above, it also has news highlights on the home page, which spotlight girl tech news.   When I clicked on the “Join Now” I was informed that Zoey’s Room had reached its maximum capacity for the year. Disappointment. It looks like a lot of fun and a great way for girls interested in STEM to make likeminded friends, but you will have to wait your turn to join. Oh, and it costs $2.95 monthly or $20 annually.

A similar site is The Adventures of Josie True which “is a web-based
historical adventure game for girls.The hero of the game is Chinese-American Josie True, a regular girl who becomes involved in intrigue
across time and space as she tries to find her inventor-turned-teacher Ms. Trombone. She time travels with one of Ms. Trombone’s inventions,
the Intellicat.” Cats are apparently popular companions for the tech-savvy?! This site doesn’t have a spot for chatting, but it does have a place to change Josie’s hair and clothes. At first, I thought what does this have to do with gaming and the like? But then, I thought wait, girls can like adventure games, clothes, and hair. Right? Yep. Oh, and the site has a nice page of links to articles on girls and gaming!

So what do you think? Girls involved in sites like these are more likely to enter CS? Perhaps they will keep girls motivated and interested? Or are they just for entertainment and fun?

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