Nicole Jostes, Productive Edge (PE) Office Manager, shared a recap of the TechGirlz workshop their office ran. Nicole and six other PE volunteers used the “A Day in the Life of a Web Designer” TechShopz in a Box™ materials to share their love of technology with a group of middle school girls. The full article was originally published June 22, 2018 on the Productive Edge blog.
While most people would be tempted to spend one of the hottest Saturday afternoons in Chicago outdoors, fourteen middle school aged girls chose to spend their day inside at the Productive Edge office to learn about technology. Last week, PE was excited to host their first ever TechShop with TechGirlz!
[…] In the past Productive Edge has worked with college and high school aged students, but this was the first event specifically targeted for middle school aged girls.
The day was focused around “A Day in the Life of a Web Designer,” where girls engaged with their creative sides to take on the mission of improving an app that they viewed as not user friendly. The girls learned the difference between User Interface (UI) vs. User Experience (UX), Websites vs Web Apps, and what good and bad user interfaces looked like. For a more hands-on approach, the girls were broken into groups to do competitive analysis, wireframing, and mood boarding exercises. Once completed, the final step was making a prototype of the app. For this the girls combined all their previous work to show a real-life version of their perfect Web App.
With this workshop, Productive Edge was hopeful to spark interest in the girls’ minds about futures in technology. Although progress is being made towards narrowing the gender gap in STEM related fields, it is still evident that more creative, hard-working, female talent is needed! Hands-on workshops like this help to engage young girls early and set them on a path towards a career in a technology field. TechGirlz acknowledges that girls learn differently and are more likely to adhered to interactive projects at an early age instead of a predetermined curriculum. Their organization also helps prove that working with technology can be fun, a theme Productive Edge also believes and hoped to reinforce with this workshop.