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Tech-Girl Monthly: April 2015

Girls and Women and Innovation

Last April, a handful of women in tech in Charlottesville had this crazy idea that we could do something to address the gender gap in tech. At a Happy Hour during the TomTom Festival, that idea took root and a year later, the Charlottesville Women in Tech has become a thriving and growing volunteer organization.

Grace Wusk and Trisha Hajela had an idea to gather together the STEM-related student organizations across UVA to provide an interactive showcase of Women in STEM to inspire and get connected with middle and high school girls in the region. Their vision becomes a reality on April 19 with the Ladies in the Lab event.

These grassroots efforts go hand-in-hand with efforts on a global scale, like the International Girls in ICT Day whose theme this year is Girls and Women and Innovation. As the C-VILLE Weekly explored in their recent article, What Makes Tech Take Off?, a big part of the answer lies in “more diversity in people entering the tech scene” and ensuring there is space at the table for the innovation and ideas coming from women and girls.

Spotlight: Grace Wusk & Trisha Hajela

Each month we spotlight a woman or girl in tech who inspires us. This month we are highlighting two UVA students who are launching Ladies in the Lab: An Interactive Showcase of Women in STEM to inspire and spark the interest of middle and high school girls.

Register to attend! The registration deadline is April 3 & the event is April 19 from 1 to 4pm.

Why is it important to get more girls and women interested in technology?

Grace: I think girls and women offer a unique perspective to the field of engineering. Creativity is key to the field! Developing technology requires a lot of teamwork and it is very important to have a lot of different people and different ideas working on the same problem so that you can come up with a lot of different solutions.

Trisha: I am a firm believer that technology cannot advance without women. It is crucial that girls/women study STEM, because women offer so much to the field! The way that women systematically think about and organize problems is stellar, and absolutely needs to be integrated into the development of technology. I hope to do everything I can to get girls interested in technology, and hope that our upcoming "Ladies in the Lab" event will be a great first start.

Read more about Grace & Trisha

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

  • April 6-10 - Spring Break Academies @ PVCC offering lots of tech-related courses. More info.
  • April 8 - Make It @ the Library at 4:30pm. Kickstart your creativity in this Pop-up MakerSpace that meets on the second Wednesday of the month. April features T-shirt Decoration. Grades 6-12. This is a drop in event. More info.
  • April 13 - 19 - Tom Tom Founders Festival. Lots of free, fun events including: Founding Cville on Monday, April 13, Nonprofit Pitch Night on Tuesday, April 14, Super Demo on Saturday, April 18 and Genius Hour Sunday, April 19.
  • May 2 - Girls' Geek Day. Crozet Elementary School (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.
  • May 13 - Make It @ the Library at 4:30pm. Kickstart your creativity in this Pop-up MakerSpace that meets on the second Wednesday of the month. May features Build a Scribbling Machine. Grades 6-12. This is a drop in event - 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 - Tinkersmiths Makerspace hosts a wide range of workshops that are open to a variety of ages and experience levels. Check out their latest meetups.

Summer Camps!

  • July 6 - 10, 13 - 17 & 20 - 24 - Tech Camp @ STAB. This brand new tech camp experience led by Kim Wilkens, the founder of Tech-Girls, is open to all! Create electronic cards, light up your clothes, make an app, design a game, code a song, mod Minecraft - the possibilities truly are endless at Tech Camp @ STAB. Weekly camps are available for rising 2nd thru 12th graders and run from 9am to 4pm. Space is limited so register soon (scholarships are available).
  • June 15 - August 14 - KidsCollege@PVCC offers a wide variety of week-long project-based STEM and Arts-based classes all summer long. Rising 3rd thru 9th graders. Registration info
Virtual & Global
  • April 28 - X-STEM 2015. Extreme STEM symposium for middle through high school students features interactive presentations and workshops by top scientists & engineers who aim to empower and inspire kids about careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington DC. Registration required.
  • May 31 (deadline) - The ENIAC Classroom Design Prize. This competition challenges high school students to design creative alterations to classroom environments in order to engage more women in computer science. Get a team together, design your ideal coding environment & propose your idea. More info.
  • Ongoing - Made with Code for classes & workshops geared toward girls.
Check out CoderDojo Girls
Women on the Map
Code your story with Vidcode
2015 Tech-Girls, This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
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