Girl Tech teaches fun technology
The University of Illinois Springfield Computer Science Department hosted two days of fun exploring technology for middle schoolers during Girl Tech 2012.
Females entering 7th, 8th or 9th grade were invited to participate in a variety of hands-on activities, such as scrap-booking with iPad, “Scratch” programming, and more.
“Girl Tech is designed to teach them there is a lot of software out there that is tremendous fun,” said Mary Sheila Tracy, camp coordinator and UIS Computer Science instructor. “This fun software is easy enough with a little instruction they can learn to use it themselves and create all kinds of wonderful things.”
Studies show the number of women in higher education in computer science is falling drastically. Girl Tech is geared toward girls in middle school because interest seems to start decreasing around that age.
“It seems like most of the people who are inventors and create technology are men, so there do need to be more women,” said Elsie A., an eighth grade participant.
New programs this year included “Starring YOU!” where girls were able to record short videos and insert themselves into their favorite movie clips and “What’s to Eat?” where girls looked at technology in the kitchen by making snacks using molecular gastronomy.
“You get to learn new things that you probably wouldn’t do in a normal classroom,” said Katie C., a seventh grade participant.
Tracy hopes the girls leave the two-day camp with a new found respect for technology and the drive to keep learning.