“Game Shakers” is changing the game.
The Nickelodeon series created by prolific kids show producer Dan Schneider is doing something different than any show that’s come before it: making it cool for girls to code.
The series follows two 12 year-old girls who start a company together after inventing an insanely addictive game featuring, yes, a donut-eating narwhal. Madisyn Shipman plays Kenzie Bell, a lovably nerdy techie whose brains and coding skills bring the game to life.
During an interview with The Huffington Post on Build Series Wednesday, Shipman opened up about the importance of playing a teenager who succeeds in math and science and what she hopes to learn from her character.
“This is the first Nickelodeon show that revolves around girl power and girls who code,” Shipman said. “Knowing that this is inspiring so many young girls and boys to come out of their comfort zone and say, ‘I’m a coder. I’m cool.’ ... It’s just awesome.”
According to Girls Who Code, an organization that aims to empower young women through technology, the biggest decline of interest in computer science among girls happens between the ages of 13-17, which is right around the age of Shipman’s character. Women continue to be underrepresented in STEM fields ― science, technology, engineering, and mathematics ― and “Game Shakers” is doing its part to encourage young girls to reach their potential.
Shipman, for one, is taking these lessons and applying them to her own life. Though she’s busy with acting projects and an exciting music career on the horizon, the 14-year-old aspires to be a neurosurgeon one day. In the meantime, however, she’s looking forward to picking up a few coding tips from Kenzie.
“I’m hoping they [the game coders] will teach me a few things,” she said. That way, Kenzie and I would have an even better bond and it would make us even more similar.”
Watch Madisyn Shipman’s full Build Series interview below: