Michelle Lange, a writer and designer living in Chicago, talks about how middle school aged girls can learn about app development and infographics as TechGirlz launches in Chicago! She talks about how workshops are going so far and upcoming workshops being held in Chicago this summer. The full article was originally published in Inspiring Success – A blog from Creating IT Futures.
TechShopz teach a basic tech curriculum and act as a safe space where girls in 6th to 9th grade can ask questions and focus on the technology they’re learning. In May, TechGirlz expanded to Chicago and celebrated with free TechShopz for girls in the area.
At least a few more Chicago TechShopz are planned for this summer, at least two scheduled for July, with details to be hosted on their events page soon.
If Chicago wants to see more free technology workshops for girls on the calendar, TechGirlz needs the tech community to volunteer. “We provide the curriculum and anyone can use it to have a tech shop,” Cliett said. “You just need a space, some girls who are interested and maybe a volunteer or a friend to help you run it.”
The free, open source technology courses can be used by anyone to inspire curiosity in technology and impart confidence in girls. TechShopz courses have been taught by volunteer instructors in 10 states and four countries to more than 5,000 girls.
“We’re here to support and connect the pieces,” Cliett said. “If somebody’s having a tech shop, I can reach out to some parents and say, ‘We have another one coming up.’ It helps build the community.”
TechGirlz even will help volunteers find locations to hold the workshops. Studio Xfinity, Cliett said, hosted Chicago’s first TechShopz at its location on Weed Street. “We have made some great connections with different organizations for space,” said Cliett. “Community centers and libraries are always good, but this is more of a space we like to work in.”