I’m a self-described tech activist, but I know that it’s not really the technology I love. It's the creators and collaborators that make useful, fun, inspiring and sometimes just silly tech that I admire and appreciate. The annual SPARK! Hackathon reminds me that our future relies on the youth of today wielding the power of tech for good. As hackathon mentor Link Clark reflected, experiences like these "give us the chance to lay the foundation for students to build a more just and inclusive society while generating awesome ideas and writing code." That is the kind of tech love we want you to experience through Tech-Girls!
Spotlight: Su Adams
Each month we spotlight a woman or girl in tech who inspires us. This month we are highlighting Su Adams. Su runs her own business, U Can Too, through which she teaches teachers to teach tech! She also runs computing workshops for kids and adults both in and out of schools. Su is a Mozilla Regional Clubs Coordinator and is heavily involved with CoderDojo in London, England & Wales and with a spin off group #a11yhacks (a group aimed at creating engaging coding opportunities for the sensory impaired and disabled). She was also a 2016 MozFest Demystify the Web Space Wrangler(pictured below on the right).
What drives your interest in technology?
I’ve always been excited by possibility, and there are certainly plenty of possibilities with tech. I particularly love making physical creations especially if I can take something and reuse it by incorporating tech to make an object do what I want it to do. I also love seeing faces light up when a tinkerer has been working away trying to make something happen and they finally reach their goal! Priceless!
Why is it important to get more girls and women interested in technology?
Technology can be so very creative and even life-changing. It requires minds that are fantastic at problem-solving and thinking outside of the box. Not only are these all skills that many women excel at, but we are all wired differently too so who knows what we’re missing out on in the technology industry and what we could achieve if we had more diverse knowledge and mindsets.
February 10 (registration deadline) - The 2017 Capital Region Celebration of Women in Computing Conference (CAPWIC) will be held February 24 & 25 at Georgetown University. This event brings together women at the high school, undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels to promote the recruitment, retention, and progression of women in computing fields. Registration required.
February 11 - Girls' Geek Day at St. Anne's-Belfield School. 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.
February 25 (deadline) - UVA SWE High School Visitation day on April 1 is geared toward high school juniors as an opportunity to experience what it’s like to be an engineering student at UVA. Application info.
March 11 - Girls' Geek Day at Cale Elementary School. 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.
March 17 (new date) - Hidden Figures featured at PVCC Free Movie Night starting at 7:30pm. "Hidden Figures" recounts the story of three brilliant African-American women at NASA -- Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) -- who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. More info.
March 18 - Coding Decoded: Tinker with Code, 2pm at Central Library. Learn basic coding concepts using Ozobots, Scratch & More. No experience necessary. For grades 4-8. Registration required & begins Feb 18 (434-979-7151x3 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
April 13 - TomTom Youth Summit. This student planned and student led Summit is open and free to K-12 students. It will include engaging speakers, hands-on workshops, student showcases, student business pitches and a student community innovation challenge. Registration required.
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
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.
March 8 (registration deadline) - Technovation Challengeoffers girls around the world the opportunity to learn the skills they need to emerge as tech entrepreneurs and leaders. Girls work in teams to build both a mobile app and a business plan to launch that app, supported by mentors and guided by curriculum.
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!