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Tech-Girl Monthly: September 2014

Why Girls?

As we gear up for another school year and see Tech-Girls expanding and reaching more girls than ever before, I still get asked the question - why just girls? Followed quickly by - shouldn’t these type of activities be available for everyone? The answer to the second question is, of course, YES! Learning digital skills & web literacy is critical for everyone, at any age. That’s why I’m involved with Mozilla’s #teachtheweb movement. However, the reality that this movement is even needed points to what is missing. Not everyone has access to this kind of learning and even if they do, girls are 5 times less likely than boys to choose it. There are many reasons for this that you can read about herethere and elsewhere. So creating a space for girls in tech is just one of the many ways we can try to change the equation. The good news is that when we make the tech space more appealing to girls, we actually make it more appealing to everyone - which, as you can see by this infographic from TechGirlz, is critical for our future!

Bio-Med Tech-Girls: UVA Exploratory Experience

In August, we ran a pilot of our first formal outreach program to local high school girls and it was a huge success! Bio-Med Tech-Girls is a collaboration between the UVA Department of Biomedical Engineering, the Coulter Translational Research Partnership and Tech-Girls. This unique opportunity offers students the chance to tour labs, meet with researchers, faculty & students, and work on a design challenge to solve a real-world problem. Here's what the girls had to say about their experience this summer:

“The design challenge was definitely new to me; I've never done anything like it before. All of the other engineering things I've been to always showed us other people's projects, but never got to offer us an opportunity to do a project ourselves."

"I especially enjoyed getting to listen to all the people at UVA tell us about projects they were personally working on."

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Spotlight: Pooja Chandrashekar

Each month we spotlight a woman or girl in tech who inspires us. This month are highlighting another NCWIT Aspirations in Computing award winner - Pooja Chandrashekar. She has turned her passion of addressing the gender gap in tech into a national computing competition for middle school girls called ProjectCSGirls for which Tech-Girls is a proud partner.
What drives your interest in technology?
I love how technology is so malleable. The rapidly advancing nature of the field and the fact that new breakthroughs are made every day is what makes it so exciting. Technology is quickly becoming critical to every aspect of society and human experience, and it’s wonderful to be a part of that. There is no other field that is as dynamic, as pertinent, or as necessary. I also love how collaborative it is because there’s so many different ways of approaching a problem and it’s everyone’s individual skill and contribution that brings a program or product to life. It’s just such creative work.

Every time I work on one of my research projects or initiatives, I get the sense that what I’m doing has a real impact and the power to make a difference. And to me, that’s really empowering and satisfying.

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Get Involved

Are you ready to become a mentor or sponsor a Tech-Girls 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

  • September 15 - GREAT (GiRls Excited About Technology) in collaboration with GEMS @ UVA and Tech-Girls will be coming to Jouett on Monday afternoons. More info.
  • September 16 - Tech-Girls @ Sutherland begins 6 week session: Human-Computer Interaction from 8-9:00am. More info.
  • September 16 - Tech-Girls @ Henley begins 6 week session: Human-Computer Interaction from 4-5:30pm. More info.
  • September 23 - Girls' Geek Days Open House at Crozet Elementary School from 6-7:30pm. More info.
  • September 30 - Women ETC Conference. This year's conference has an amazing line-up of speakers and is a great event to inspire the next generation of women in tech. More info (ask about their student rate).
  • October 4 - Charlottesville Mini Maker Faire. Be sure to mark your calendar for this fun, interactive event featuring regional makers.
  • October 9 - 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!
Virtual & Global
  • Ongoing - Made with Code for classes & workshops geared toward girls.
  • July 15-September 15 - Maker Party, Mozilla's global campaign to teach the web.Find or create an event near you!
  • September 1 - February 15 - ProjectCSGIRLS, the nation’s biggest computer science competition for middle school girls. Build something with tech that can help solve an imminent social problem.
  • September 15 - November 4 - NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing. Are you a young woman in high school interested in computing? Want to tap into a powerful network that can help make your dreams come true? Selena Feng, a high school junior is changing her community through GREAT, a program supported through her NCWIT Award.
Find your future on the CBIC Tech Tour, October 9.
Make something awesome at the Mini Maker Faire, October 4.
Join the ProjectCSGIRLS challenge & change the world!
2014 Tech-Girls, This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
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