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Tech-Girl Monthly: June 2015


This hashtag came out of a letter posted on Re/code from a women in tech founder who thought it was time to change the narrative of women tech entrepreneurs by encouraging them to tell their own stories, showing “potential female founders even more clearly that we #ChoosePossibility”. While this is an important change to see at the national level, we need to see it happening at the grassroots as well. That’s why I was so excited to receive the Social Good Award from the attendees at the Charlottesville Business Innovation Council Gala. Sure, it’s a huge honor, but more importantly, it means that we are changing the narrative locally. My story is only possible because so many others in the community #choosepossibility for women and girls in tech. One of those organizations is Charlottesville Women in Tech which began holding monthly meetups one year ago. As we celebrate our first anniversary, I’m really excited to see our organizations join forces with the goal of supporting and helping women and girls begin their journey and stay in the technology pipeline. We'll be telling our stories as well, so that we can share the amazing possibilities in tech with daughters, mothers, nieces, aunts, students, teachers, friends and neighbors!

Spotlight: Eileen Krepkovich

Each month we spotlight a woman or girl in tech who inspires us. This month we are highlighting Eileen Krepkovich, a biomedical engineer who works as a research scientist at Barron Associates. She’s also a Tech-Girls mentor and the President of Charlottesville Women in Technology! She is passionate about technology that makes a difference in people’s lives. We asked Eileen to share her story.
Why is it important to get more girls and women interested in technology?
Technology is increasingly shaping our world. Right now, the statistics of women who work in technology are pretty bleak, hovering around 25% women, and have actually decreased over the past two  decades. We need more girls and women to be involved in technology for several reasons: first, because we need women’s voices to be a part of the technology development, so that we have tech that can meet our needs. This applies to everything from the size of new smart watches  to voice recognition systems that work equally well for men and women, and even more impactful areas like availability of prosthetic limbs that are correctly sized for women.

Second, tech careers are amazing in terms of the opportunities they afford women: great salaries and benefits as well as flexibility thanks to the ability to work from home and make your own hours at many companies. And for those who are like me in wanting to help others, we need more girls and women to see that working in tech isn’t just about sitting in front of a computer – so much tech is geared towards making a difference in people’s lives! My best days are the ones where I work with patients and get to see them enjoying the tech we have developed.

Read more from Eileen.

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

  • June 10 - Make It @ the Library at 2:00pm. Kickstart your creativity in this Pop-up MakerSpace that meets on the second Wednesday of the month. June features Guitar Pick Jewelry. Grades 6-12. Registration recommended. Call 434.979.7151 x4 to sign up.
  • Summer - Join the Tech-Girls Running Team as we get active while also being part of a great event in our community for change. Our team will help raise awareness of and raise funds for breast cancer research, detection, diagnosis and treatment as part of the Charlottesville Women's Four Miler. More info.
  • Ongoing - Charlottesville Women in Tech Meetup. If you are a mom of a Tech-Girl & want to connect with other female techies, please consider joining us at a meetup. 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. Check out theTop 5 Reasons to Attend Tech Camp @ STAB and then register! (needs-based scholarships are available).
  • July 6-9 & July 13-16 - CoderDojo at Albemarle County Public Schools. Available activities will include 3D printing, web design and programming. Morning or afternoon sessions are available. Children under 7 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Registration required.
  • 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
  • June 12-13 - National Maker Faire in Washington DC at the University of the District of Columbia. This is a family-friendly event that is free and open to the public. Stop by and say hi to Girls' Geek DayMore info.
  • June 22-24 - From STEM to STEAM: Girls’ Schools Leading the Way in Richmond, VA. If you work with engaging girls in STEM, this is a great opportunity to learn, get hands-on and be inspired. The speaker line up is phenomenal! More info.
  • Summer 2015 - Girls Make Games has 3-week camps happening all around the country. Be sure to check out the 2014 Grand Prize Winner’s successful Kickstarter project. Registration and camp location info.
  • October 9 (deadline) - CyberPatriot, National Youth Cyber Education Program. Middle and high school teams compete in online cyber challenges. More info.
  • Ongoing - Made with Code for classes & workshops geared toward girls.
Tech D.I.Y.
Ant-Man Micro-Challenge
2015 Tech-Girls, This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
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