Diana Jones, Associate Director for the Dornsife Office for Experiential Learning at Drexel Lebow, wrote an article about the TechGirlz TechShop recently held at the University. This article shares with us a recap of the new TechShop topic, Generating Word Maps using Text Mining, and the fun had by both the girls and volunteers! The full article was originally published February 22, 2018 in the News section of the Drexel University LeBow College of Business website.
Despite their demonstrated abilities in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects, only 11 percent of teenage girls anticipate pursuing STEM careers, compared with 36 percent of teenage boys, according to a 2017 survey. For organizations and academic institutions alike, reducing the gender gap in STEM careers has become a key initiative – specifically, empowering future generations at a young age.
Drexel LeBow’s Business Analytics Solutions Center welcomed 12 girls from middle schools within the greater Philadelphia area for a technology workshop about data and analytics – one of the College’s prominent areas of expertise – delivered for TechGirlz.
Founded by LeBow alumna Tracey Welson-Rossman ‘88, TechGirlz empowers middle school girls to be future technology leaders through workshops, summer camps and initiatives that spotlight topics and career paths within the field. To date, the nonprofit organization has reached 10,000 girls through technology workshops across the nation.
Instructed by Murugan Anandarajan, PhD, professor of decision sciences and MIS; MS Business Analytics students Irina Nedelcu and Darshita Thakker; and Diana Jones, associate director for experiential learning, the workshop explored text mining – the process of analyzing words to discover patterns, obtain insights and support decision making.
Staying true to the university’s roots in experiential learning, the girls completed hands-on activities to understand how to clean, analyze and communicate data. Participants worked in pairs, examining customer reviews of multiple music apps – Amazon Music, Spotify and Pandora – to analyze positive and negative sentiment. Based on their analysis of the data, the pairs determined which of the three apps they’d recommend to customers, then presented their decisions and analysis to the group.
“Drexel has been an important part of TechGirlz growth,” said Welson-Rossman. “The university’s commitment to inspiring girls to explore all forms of technology is important to solve the lack of women in the industry.”