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Tech-Girl Monthly: May 2015

Celebrate Women in STEM!

This past month I was honored to be invited to speak at the UVA Iris Magazine’s Celebration for Women in STEM event. It was a good reminder that even with the challenges being faced by women in STEM from underrepresentation to gender bias, there are still many things to celebrate. In this issue, we are celebrating just a few of the women in STEM who have come across our radar lately. Amy LaViers is in this month’s spotlight. At the Celebration, she shared the story of how her passion for dance and engineering found it’s home in robotics. Becca McCharon of Chromat really blew me away at the TomTom Founder’s Summit. Her fascinating founding story moves from studying architecture, to joining the Peace Corps, working at city hall, sewing in her spare time to founding Chromat and recently being named to Forbes “30 Under 30: Art & Style”. I see her taking wearable tech to a whole new level. 
Middle and high school girls from the around the region got inspired at Ladies in the Lab, the first interactive showcase of Women in STEM held at UVA. 

You can find even more women to celebrate at the Women of Silicon Valley, created by a young woman who wants us all to tell a better story about women in STEM.

Spotlight: Amy LaViers

Each month we spotlight a woman or girl in tech who inspires us. This month we are highlighting Amy LaViers, Assistant Professor in Systems and Information Engineering at the University of Virginia and Director of the Robotics, Automation, and Dance (RAD) Lab.  

What drives your interest in technology?
For me, the one certainty about the future is that technology will advance. It affects everyone's way of life, and it's important we do a good job designing it!  

Why is it important to get more girls and women interested in technology?
Women will use tomorrow's technology; it's important we share in the power of designing it.

Read more about Amy.

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

  • May 13 - Make It @ the Library at 4:30pm. Kickstart your creativity in this Pop-up MakerSpace that meets on the second Wednesday of the month. May features Build a Scribbling Machine. Grades 6-12. This is a drop in event. More info.
  • May 13 - 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.
  • May 15 (deadline) - applications are now open for the 2nd annual Bio-Med Tech-Girls: UVA Exploratory Experience. The timing of the program itself is in early August. Current 9th, 10th & 11th grade female high school students are encouraged to apply for this opportunity. Check out highlights from last year and apply online.
  • 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 the register! (needs-based scholarships are available).
  • 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
  • May 31 (deadline) - The ENIAC Classroom Design Prize. This competition challenges high school students to design creative alterations to classroom environments in order to engage more women in computer science. Get a team together, design your ideal coding environment & propose your idea. More info.
  • Ongoing - Made with Code for classes & workshops geared toward girls.
The Women of Silicon Valley
Becca McCharen: Designing Fashion for Empowered Women
Dance Visual: Code + Dance
2015 Tech-Girls, This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
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