Girls Get IT! (Innovative Technology)

For my gold award I want to run a day camp for girls in the community to show them that girls can do engineering and technology. The camp will be five half days over one week. My target is 7th-12th grade girls who don’t know what engineering is or are curious about engineering. The location will be at Hillsboro High school. I will be coordinating volunteers to teach classes, coordinating snacks, organizing and seeking donations, and will be creating a one stop website for girls all over the world about what we did and how they can do it in their community. I want girls to feel confident in an overwhelmingly male environment. Our focus will be on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). I hope that I can show girls that they can do whatever they want to even if it means breaking down the barriers of stereotypes.

I want to give girls in the community a hands on experience encompassing all aspects of STEM so they can learn with their peers in a fun and creative environment; something that they might not otherwise have the opportunity to do. I want them to realize STEM is for girls too.

The day camp will consist of several classes and workshops. The classes are listed on the Task-Emphasis sheet and some are science projects, computer hardware, game making, basic programming languages (RobotC and NXTG), CAD (computer aided drafting) software, and web programming, and they will be able to work with rapid prototyping machines including a Makerbot and a laser cutter.

The last day will be a “career day” where girls can make contacts with women in our community that are breaking the stereotype, “girls don’t belong in engineering”, and how they (as high schoolers or middle schoolers) can get involved with the local engineering community. I want the girls to realize all the opportunities there are for them and help them get the doors opened. The purpose of the career day will be to create contacts and role models for the girls.

Not only will I be coordinating volunteers to teach classes I will be teaching some of the classes myself. In my mind the most important thing is that the girls have fun!