Michelle Lange, a writer and designer living in Chicago, contributes to the Inspiring Success – Creating IT Futures blog. This article shares with readers a recap of the TechGirlz March 3rd- 10,000 Girlz Celebration events held in Chicago. The full article was originally published March 08, 2018 on the Creating IT Futures blog.
TechGirlz has helped thousands of girls get interested in technology — 10,000 to be exact, a milestone the organization celebrated in last Saturday [March 3] by holding 10 TechShopz events across the country.
In Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood, Trisha Rogers led a class on HTML and CSS coding at McCutcheon Elementary. With the help of some adult volunteers, she taught the girls how to write out their text, embed images and change up the colors on their own websites.
None of the girls had tried coding before, and within a few hours they were all developing their own websites. In a room surrounded with inspirational quotes from student activist Malala Yousafzai, YouTube’s Susan Wojcicki and tech exec Sheryl Sandberg, the girls in 6th, 7th and 8th grade used hypertext markup language and learned the difference between head tags, paragraph tags and div tags.
“I was surprised to see how much they could learn in just three hours, and they were excited because they could build their own websites with their own ideas and their own pictures,” said Rogers.
As they learned about files, browsers, applications and USB drives, the girls’ growing confidence was clear.
“It worked! It actually did,” said 6th grader Kendall Sumlar, after learning how to add images to her anime themed website. “I didn’t think it was going to work, but it did!”
Across town at Studio Xfinity, another dozen girls learned how to use pictures to tell a story. Girls learned about using pictures to make a point. During their workshop, they learned practical knowledge, like how to display data in a graphical way, where to find royalty free images, and how to use infographics to be persuasive.
At a TechShopz event hosted by CompTIA at its headquarters in Downers Grove, a suburb of Chicago, the girls explored the parts that make computers work and how the pieces fit together. The girls played around with the colorful inner workings of computers, learned the language around the parts and figured out how the pieces work together.
To bring a TechShopz in a Box program to your school or girls’ group, email Joan Matz at Creating IT Futures.