As technology becomes an ever-growing part of our lives, boosting the number of young people entering scientific and engineering careers is a priority for many economies. The great news for the next generation of innovators is that science is fun. Imparting that message to children is one of the most important building blocks for changing things in the future.

This is especially true for girls, who are still often left behind when it comes to having access to engineering careers. We know the current stats on the number of women pursuing STEM fields — and we don’t like what we see. Currently, 28 percent of people with computer science degrees are women. Only 18-20 percent of all engineering students are women. Women make up just 25 percent of computing-related occupations as of 2015. That’s one of the reasons why the Quantcast Women’s Network partnered with our Engineering & Sales teams in London to host our second annual Kids’ Hackathon.

Quantcast recently invited 25 children, 40% girls, to become engineers for the day. Our London office was transformed into a boisterous kids’ zone featuring six different robots that they could interact with. Our team of engineers led a myriad of games and activities for girls and boys to code, test, play, and learn about AI using the robots. The team of youngsters used logic, trial and error, and persistence as engineers tailored age-appropriate experiences for each child. The kids learned that there are countless fun applications for coding.

Coding for kids - desktop

AI made fun. AI made simple.

We want to impart this message early while these kids are still young. We know that’s when it can make the deepest impact.

While the children and their families had a great time — as did our team — we hosted this event for a very important reason. Each girl and boy who participated in our Hackathon received a certification of completion to help plant an early seed with the kids that they can develop a rewarding and challenging career in a field that our team of engineers loves so much.

Quantcast Kids Hackathon - certificate

We’d like to thank our partners for helping us ignite a spark in the next generation of scientists and engineers. We would especially like to thank Dentsu Aegis, Mindshare, Gap, Sky & Mediacom. And a big thank you to the kids who joined us!