I just got back from MozFest, “the world’s leading festival for the open internet movement.” My first stop this year was Mozilla’s Women and Web Convening. Amira Dhalla put this amazing experience together giving the participants a unique opportunity to connect in real life with women from around the world to explore root causes of gender inequality and begin identifying solutions. What I discovered is that many root causes and symptoms are common throughout the world, but the solutions to address these issues most often need to be context-specific. It also reaffirmed my belief that change is needed at both the grassroots and top down level.
At MozFest itself, I also got to connect in person with so many women who have shared their work online and inspired me!
My big take away from the whole experience is that we’ve got serious challenges facing our world and the way we engage with technology can be part of the problem or part of the solution. It’s on us as educators, as schools and as communities to engage our learners with these problems and empower them to address issues through digital literacy on a web that is open and inclusive.
Spotlight: Marina Malone
Each month we spotlight a woman or girl in tech who inspires us. This month we are highlighting Marina Malone. She is a freshman studying Computer Engineering at Loyola University Chicago. She recently participated in her second MozFest as a space wrangler-in-training as well as facilitating the interactive Web Garden experience in the Demystify the Web space.
What was your pathway to studying computer engineering?
I interned at the Chicago Botanic Garden, and I planned to go into STEM. I took a computer science class, and became hooked. My manager at the Botanic Gardens connected me with Robert Friedman who was working on an app called RideW/Me, which sparked my interest in computer science even more! After attending MozFest, I knew I wanted to major in something related to computer science because I loved the community! I am majoring in computer engineering and I’m having so much fun so far!
November 12 - Girls' Geek Day at Hollymead Elementary. GGD is all about sparking elementary school girls interest in technology and computing by providing a fun, collaborative, hands-on environment to learn new tech skills and helping them connect to other STEM programs in the community. Registration required.
November 12 - Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead at 2:00pm at Central Library. Get creative and explore science, engineering, and technology with hands on activities. Open to elementary school-aged and above and families.
November 12 - Virginia Girls' Summit is a yearly event created by teenage ambassadors for other teenage girls. For over 4 years they have been bringing together thousands of girls in 7th-12th grade and their parents from around the Mid-Atlantic to live a “She Rocks The World” day of exciting workshops, guest speakers and fun activities. Registration required.
November 13 - Girls on the Run Fall 5K at 2pm. This event will be held at the St. Anne's-Belfield Learning Village campus. Registration required.
December 16 (deadline) - The second annual SPARK! Hackathon is coming January 28 & 29, 2017! This two-day event of learning and hacking is open to high school students throughout the region and offers them a unique opportunity to get connected to industry experts and other students who are passionate about changing the world through technology. Apply now!
December 31 (deadline) - CBIC Tech Tour Scholarship Application. All Juniors and Seniors who participate in tour are eligible to apply for the scholarship. Every year CBIC awards two $2500 scholarships. Apply now.
Thursdays at 6:30pm - Tech-Girls Maker Club. The Maker Club is open to all women & girls who are interested in learning together how to bring our wearable tech fashion ideas to life through sewing & soldering, programming & electronics and more. Anyone under 18 must attend with parent/legal guardian. If you are interested, please complete this form.
Ongoing - Make It @ the Library, 4:00pm, second Wednesdays at Central Library. Kickstart your creativity with this Pop-up Makerspace. Open to ages 10-15.
Ongoing - Northside Makerspace. Tuesdays at 6-8pm, Thursdays at 3-5pm & Saturdays 10:30am-12:30pm at Northside Library. Ages 11+ and patrons must be accompanied by adult 16 or order.
Virtual & Global
August-November - FIRST LEGO Leagueteams of up to 10 members, grades 4-8 are forming now to research a real-world problem and design, build and program a robot using LEGO Mindstorms. Most tournaments happen in November. VA-DC Starting Points has great resources for teams to get started.
December 5-11 - Hour of Code. Join millions around the world during the Computer Science Education Week’s Hour of Code.
December 31 (team recruitment deadline) Technovation. Every year, Technovation invites teams of girls from all over the world to learn and apply the skills needed to solve real-world problems through technology. Technovation takes students through 4 stages of launching a mobile app startup, inspired by the principles of design thinking.
February 6 (deadline) - ExploraVision competition for K-12 students engages the next generation in real world problem solving with a strong emphasis on STEM.
February 15 (deadline) - ProjectCSGirls is a competition designed to challenge middle school girls to actively use computer science and technology to develop a solution to an imminent social problem.
Are you ready to become a mentor or sponsor a Tech-Girl event? Can you help us get the word out? However you would like to get involved, we need you!