Written by volunteer writer Amy Freeman
Seventeen-year-old Lilia Becker is a shining example of a person being the change they want to see in the world. She’s a coder, has made her own 3D designs, and founded the nonprofit CodeWithLilia.org, which aims to get more girls into the computer science industry.
Lilia’s been involved with TechGirlz for awhile and has served as an assistant workshop leader a few times and is a current member of the Teen Advisory Board. On December 1, 2018, she had the chance to lead a workshop for the first time. She taught 3D Jewelry Design with Tinkercad and 3D Manufacturing to a group of enthusiastic girls at the Newtown Library.
Although it was her first time teaching the Tinkercad workshop, Lilia first learned the program in middle school and got to play around with it, creating 3D objects, which she printed using a 3D printer she had at home.
She noted that during the five or so years since she first started tinkering around with Tinkercad that both it and 3D printing in general have come a long way. 3D printers are now more common and easy to get a hold of — the library had one for the girls to use. Lilia also thought that the workshop material was fun and well-organized. The topic, designing jewelry, was particularly appropriate for a group of middle schoolers.
One of the things Lilia learned during the workshop was that it really paid off to introduce the girls to each other and help them establish connections. Since collaboration was an important part of the second half of the workshop, before a snack break, the girls played an icebreaker game during which they shared their interests and formed bonds with each other. The icebreaker helped the girls relax and made the environment in the classroom feel more open, ideal for the teamwork that was needed as they jumped into using the Tinkercad program.
Looking back on the workshop, Lilia said that she loved seeing the girls “light up” when they learned new things. She tried to make a connection with each of the students in the workshop, so that every one would feel encouraged and supported. At the end of the day, she got a few hugs from the girls, which was one of the best rewards she could have received.
If she had to change one thing about her time as a workshop leader, she would have sent out an email thanking the girls for attending, offering a few more words of encouragement and providing links to more ways to explore 3D printing as well as links to upcoming TechGirlz workshops.
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