Jewelbots are friendship bracelets for the iPhone era. Technology-enabled jewelry for tween and teen girls, they’re a means of communicating with friends by lighting up when a BFF is near or buzzing to send messages to a pal across the school.

Co-founded by three women in NYC, the Jewelbots Kickstarter opened up on July 8 and within two hours had made it 1/3 of the way to their goal of raising $30,000. As of July 19, they had more than tripled that figure in funds raised.

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Believe it or not, the number of women pursuing computer science degrees has actually dropped by nearly half since the mid-’80s. According to the National Center for Women & Information Technology, women made up just 26 per cent of the computing workforce in 2013. The reasons behind the staggering loss of women in technology are complex and myriad, and often the subject of debate. But one thing is not up for debate: it wasn’t always so. Women aren’t missing the genetic code required to be interested and good at software development. The only question that remains is, how do we make the field a welcoming place for women again? (Fun fact: did you know that the primary coder on the original arcade game, Centipede, was a woman?)

Over 1000 backers of the JewelBots Kickstarter seem to agree that programmable friendship bracelets for girls is a great start.

Sara Chipps, one of the founders and a seasoned JavaScript developer, has been on a mission for years now to get more females into coding. In 2010, she co-founded Girl Develop It!, a national non-profit that has taught over 17,000 women how to build software. A couple of years ago she took an interest in programmable hardware. This developed into a passion during her run as CTO of the Flatiron school in NYC and eventually led to what is now Jewelbots.

There’s still time to get in on the fun and back the Jewelbots Kickstarter. They have added new ambitious stretch goals that would be great to see come to fruition.

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