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Tech-Girl Monthly: June 2016

And the winner is ...

Recently at the TomTomFest Crowdfunded Pitch Night and the Charlottesville Business Innovation Council (CBIC) Annual Awards Gala, several women were recognized for their innovations:

Leela and Clara, 11th grade students from St. Anne’s-Belfield School were the youngest winners in the history of the TomTomFest pitch night. They won for their technology outreach company, Seniors Connect, a service they founded to help older citizens set up and learn to use electronic devices. They are joining the i.Lab at UVa this summer to expand their services to include apps like Doctor’s Orders.

Suz Somersall was named CBIC Innovator of the Year for founding KiraKira. This 3D Printing Academy is geared toward teaching girls engineering fundamentals and 3D printing through fun, online jewelry design classes. Suz and her co-founder Malena Southworth hope to change stereotypes and inspire girls to broaden both the academic fields they pursue as well as their future career paths.

Evelyn Tickle received the CBIC Social Good Award for Grow Oyster Reefs. Evelyn got very interested in the plight of the oyster and inspired by biomimicry with concrete, she ran experiments and eventually invented a special concrete that mimics real oyster reefs.

Monica Gray, co-founder and CEO of DreamWakers was the CBIC Gala Guest Speaker. DreamWakers brings diverse and dynamic leaders into high needs public school classrooms across the U.S. through online platforms. Monica found that leaders in their field are eager to give back, but don’t know where to start.

A common thread among these success stories is that each woman became passionate about solving a problem they found in their community. That is the power of women & tech!

Spotlight: Erin Winick

Each month we spotlight a woman or girl in tech who inspires us. This month we are highlighting Erin Winick. Erin is a mechanical engineering student at the University of Florida and the CEO of Sci Chic. She is also currently an intern at Keysight Technologies in Santa Rosa, CA.

What was your pathway to working in technology?
I think a few things led me here. First of all, my passion for making, math and science led me to mechanical engineering. I realized the power that exists behind all of the new manufacturing technologies out there and wanted to be on the cutting edge of what technology is used for. Second, I think my exposure to using machines at a young age made this seem less daunting. The machine I speak of is a sewing machine. I have always sewn with my mom, everything from pajamas to Halloween costumes.

Why is it important to get more girls and women interested in technology?
I think many young girls do not perceive science and engineering as the creative fields that they are. I think it is crucial to expose young girls to these aspects of the field so they will truly know the possibilities that are out there. By creating an even balance of men and women in the workplace, we are creating a balance of different views and opinions and bringing more of our population into an area full of innovation helping move society forward.

Read more.

Activities & Events

Live & Local

  • June 8 - Make It @ the Library at 2pm. Kickstart your creativity with the library’s Pop-up MakerSpace. Each month will feature several projects focused on a theme. All MakerSpace supplies are available at every session, so you can create your own project. Ages 10-15.
  • June 21 - Tween Tech Series @ the Library at 1pm. Local artist and graphic designer Mike Uriss will present a workshop for tweens ages 10 to 15. Participants will learn principles of graphic design, the role of technology in graphic design, and have the opportunity to create and save their own digital creation. Registration is required and begins June 6. Limit: 8 participants.
  • June 22 - Tween Tech Series @ the Library at 1pm. Join WillowTree staff and take a hands-on tour of hardware and software basics with segments on dissecting a simple machine and learning basic principles of programming.
  • July 11-15 - The Art of Code: Tech-Girls Experience. This experience provides an opportunity for middle school girls to get hands-on with coding through art. Paint a masterpiece, create a symphony of sound, animate an avatar, and so much more! Registration required
  • August 3 - Tween Tech Series @ the Library at 2pm. Drop by to learn about the latest in virtual reality with special guests from Linden Lab. They will share what they do as virtual entertainment developers and demo the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. Then try out some of the library's tech toys like an Ozobot mini-robot and the 3-D Doodle Pen. Ages 10-15.

Summer Camps!

  • Tech Camp @ STAB. No sitting through boring lectures here, you'll get hands-on with tech from day one. 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. Be sure to check out the expanded offerings this summer including the CS Academy and Art of Code for Tech-Girls! Weekly camps are available starting June 20 for rising 2nd thru 12th graders and run from 9am to 4pm. Registration info (scholarships available).
  • KidsCollege@PVCC STEM & Arts Academies offers a wide variety of week-long project-based STEM and Arts-based classes all summer long. Rising 3rd thru 9th graders. Half or full day options. Registration info (scholarships available).
  • Synthetic Biology Summer Camp offers the opportunity to learn about the evolution of biotechnology while exploring the fundamentals of biology and constructing genetic circuits. This camp is appropriate for any student who has taken basic high school biology. Registration info.
  • Light House Studio Summer Camp offers a variety of tech-related summer camps including animation, visual affects, music video & film production. Registration info(scholarships available).
  • iD Tech Camps at UVA offers co-ed camps for ages 7-17. Learn code, game design, app development, web design, film, photography, and more. Registration info.

Get Involved!

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! 
2016 Tech-Girls, This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
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