We were excited about offering a group of girls the opportunity to explore the field of computing.
Young women and men are equally engaged in using information technology as social media, a tool in their studies, and in their entertainment. The problem is that very few women view and consider information technology as their potential careers. Our goal was to break the decades- old misconceptions that computing is all about tedious writing of code and that is most suitable for “geeks”, by showing its dynamic and interactive aspect.
We hoped to leverage the infatuation of young people with computer technology in the process of shifting their experience from being an enthusiastic user/consumer to becoming an equally enthusiastic designer/creator.
The “Computer Girl Power Camp- 2011” participants were fifteen 12-14 year old girls. We chose this age group as all studies suggest that the last two years of the middle-school have the strongest impact on selection of the career field by students. When in high school students gradually define the spectrum of possible career choices and later on further solidify them by selection of courses. Students in the last two years of middle school are still in exploratory mode and are equally open to all fields of study.
To quickly capture the attention and engage the participants we chose robotics, computer games, and computer animation, as these fields provide the best opportunity for immediate feedback and gratification. We were inspired by the excitement, intellectual ability, and productivity of these fifteen girls who working in teams produced in five days absolutely amazing results. Their enthusiasm was contagious and the camp staff in disbelieve observed the power of girls’ teamwork and creativity. This in itself was the best reward for all of us who worked on this camp.
Thank you girls for showing us the “girl power”! We wish you all successful careers in whatever field you choose. If some of you choose information technology because we have shown you how great and successful you can be in this field, well this would be awesome. This is what education is about – “planting the seed” and showing you how you can grow on your own. Believe in yourself and maintain your “Girl Power “ attitude. Opportunities are limitless in the field of information technology – we encourage you to “Go For It.” We were inspired by you and had lots of fun. I know you did too!
Chair, Computer Science Department
Comments from Parents who attended – Computer Presentations in Robotics, Game Design and Animation. Presentations on July 29th.
“I am very impressed at the level that these girls were able to reach in such a short period of time.”
“The girls appeared to have learned something new while enjoying themselves at the same time. They seemed all self-assured with there new capabilities.”
Nina’s Aunt Jen.”
“I was very impressed how much the girls learned and how much they were able to complete in one week. The girls were extremely creative and seemed to enjoy themselves.”
“I was amazed at the level of expertise that the girls were able to achieve in such a short period of time. Their end products were very professional.”
Suzanne – Parent of Alexandra.
“The Program was interesting for the students- taught them how to develop their own programs.”
“I think all the girls did a fantastic job they were very creative, it was wonderful to see how much my daughter enjoyed the program. She had a great time.”
“I thought the program was terrific… it combined learning computer science with fun! Nice job. “
Parent of Chris.
“I thought the program was outstanding. Each day my daughters came home with stories of their accomplishments in robotics, animation and game design.”
“They were exposed to industry tools that were state of the art. " Well done!”
Gail- Parent of Paige and Lindsey.
“When the camp was first suggested as something to do. Julianna jumped at the chance (coming from a girl who does not typically enjoy camp or restricted activity) She learned, she laughed, and she made new friends. Truly amazing!
Parent of Julianna.
“This is a wonderful program! My daughter looks forward to coming every day. This program has shown her that she can make this a career. Loved the end projects. They did a great job.”
Parent of Jennifer.
“Great job from such young people! Great imagination on the student’s part.”
“This program was just what my child needed to build her confidence with computers. Thank you for building her knowledge of computers and programming.”
“Great to see the rapport with the girls and spirit of learning and working together. Allison opens up when put to the test and achieving her goals.”
“Creativity, humor, and the power of the computer empowered these young girls. What hope for the future! “
“Abby loved camping at the Girl Power camp it was challenging and creative and fun for her. As parents, we appreciate all that you have put into this program.”
Kim - Parent of Abby.
“It was great for the girl to learn how complex technology is and to practice using it. They loved using technology and expressing their creativity.”