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Tech-Girl Monthly: October 2015

Girl Power!

October is a big month for Girls & Technology! Last year, Virginia Governor McAuliffe declared this month TechTober to highlight the growing importance of technology in our economy and on education. Back in 2012, the United Nations declared October 11 the International Day of the Girl to recognize that the empowerment of and investment in girls is critical to the health and welfare of our world. I also choose that day to launch Tech-Girls. The theme this year is The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030.

“The commitment by the global community to realizing the potential of adolescent girls will directly translate into the girls as powerful & positive change agents for their own empowerment, for advancing gender equality and for sustainable advancement.” 

I am so fortunate that I get to witness this girl power every day, in school and through the variety of events and activities available through Tech-Girls and beyond. Our spotlight this month, Christine, shares how meaningful the experience of working with adolescent girls is to her.

Spotlight: Christine Lenardson

Each month we spotlight a woman or girl in tech who inspires us. This month we are highlighting Christine Lenardson, a fourth year Mechanical Engineer at the University of Virginia. She was a recent panelist at a Charlottesville Women in Tech meetup about engaging more women & girls in tech. Christine is the president of an organization called GEMS (Girls Excited about Math and Science). The goal of GEMS is to close the gender gap in math and science subjects.Through hands on participation in experiments and interaction with UVA students, elementary and middle school girls in the Charlottesville area are encouraged to become more involved in STEM fields.
Who inspires you to pursue your passion?
While many people, especially my parents, have encouraged me along my path, the true inspiration comes from spending just an hour with a group of girls with GEMS. On the drive to the schools I am often tired and wonder why I got involved when I have other work to be doing, but on the way back from the schools I feel energized and filled with joy seeing the excitement of the girls. They give me hope every week and I am so encouraged by their enthusiasm to learn more about math and science. These girls are the new generation, a generation that has the potential to drastically improve STEM fields around the world.

Read more.

Get Involved!

Are you ready to become a mentor or sponsor a Tech-Girl workshop? Can you help us get the word out or cater an event? However you would like to get involved, we need you! 

Activities & Events

Live & Local

  • October 2-4 - MEDesign 2015. A medical design competition at UVA that brings together clinical, creative & entrepreneurial minds together to solve a pressing problem in medicine/healthcare. More info.
  • October 8 - CBIC Tech Tour. Open to middle and high school students from participating schools. Check to see if your school is on board the tour & sign up quickly. Spots are limited for this popular regional event!
  • October 10 - Girls' Geek Day. Crozet Elementary (9am to noon). This event is open to all ages, but if you are a 3rd grader or younger, please plan on bringing one of your parents too. Registration required.
  • October 14 - Make It @ the Library at 4:30pm. Kickstart your creativity in this Pop-up MakerSpace that meets on the second Wednesday of the month. October features Construction challenges. Grades 6-12. Registration recommended. Call 434.979.7151 x4 to sign up.
  • October 15 & 16 - St. Anne’s-Belfield School: Inspiration Speaks. TED Prize winner Dr. Sugata Mitra and founder of School in the Cloud is speaking at the Jefferson Theater. Free tickets are being offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • October 16-17 - Explore Engineering for High School Women. A weekend for high school girls to work in teams with Sweet Briar professors & students on a hands-on, creative project. More info.
  • October 17 - Girl Scouts Introduction to Chess. Participants will be treated to comments from Ms. Jennifer Yu, the 1st K-12 American to take a top prize in chess in 27th years. This event is FREE to all registered Girl Scouts (Daisy - Ambassador), but seating is limited so scouts MUST register. Non-members can also attend for a fee. Registration required.
  • October 22 & 23 - womenEtc. This annual women in tech conference in Richmond always features amazing speakers and great workshops. Registration required.
  • October 23 (deadline) - Society of Women Engineers Fall High School Visitation on November 14. Experience what it’s like to be an engineering student at UVA. Registration required.
  • November 13-15 - Startup Weekend EDU: Problem-solvathon. This event is an awesome opportunity for young people to share their ideas for addressing a problem in education and expanding their entrepreneurial experience. Last year’s event featured several teams led by middle & high school students and a middle school student’s team was awarded 1st place. Registration required.
  • Ongoing - Charlottesville Women in Tech Meetup. If you are a mom of a Tech-Girl & want to connect with other female techies, please consider joining us at a monthly meetup. More info.
  • Ongoing - Girl Develop It Central VA. What better way to inspire your daughter, grand-daughter or niece to learn to code than to learn yourself. Girl Develop It Central VA offers beginner classes in Charlottesville and Harrisonburg for adults.
  • Ongoing - Playing Aces Chess is a group of teachers, parents, and interested community leaders who recognize the importance of developing critical and creative thinking skills in every student using chess. They hold chess events throughout the region. More info.
  • Ongoing - Tinkersmiths Makerspace hosts a wide range of workshops that are open to a variety of ages and experience levels. Check out their latest meetups.

Virtual & Global

  • September 1-October 26 - NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing applications openThis award honors young women at the high-school level for their computing-related achievements and interests. 
  • September 15 (applications open) - ProjectCSGirls is a computer science competition for middle school girls. Create something with tech that can help solve an imminent social problem. More info.
  • October 9 (deadline) - CyberPatriot, National Youth Cyber Education Program. Middle and high school teams compete in online cyber challenges. More info.
  • February 16 (deadline)EngineerGirl Essay Contest. The theme this year is responsible engineering. Contest is open to elementary, middle & high school students.
  • Ongoing - Made with Code for classes & workshops geared toward girls.
Kid President's Awesome Girls Campaign
Speak up for #62Million Girls
Code a homework excuse generator
2015 Tech-Girls, This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
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