High school junior Pranshu Suri partnered with the nonprofit to reach middle school girls
July 11, 2017 (PHILADELPHIA) – While many students are hanging out by the pool, Pranshu Suri spent her summer vacation organizing and executing “CodeIT,” a free technology camp for middle school girls from Title 1 schools in the Philadelphia School District. The camp was designed in partnership with TechGirlz, an organization of which Suri is an alumna.
The junior from The Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania funded the camp through a grant from the National Center for Women and Information Technology’s AspireIT outreach program. NCWIT AspireIT is a component of NCWIT Aspirations in Computing (AiC), a national talent development initiative for young women in computing, from kindergarten through graduate school. CodeIT comprised three sessions which took place at the Wharton School of Business at University of Pennsylvania on June 4, 10, and 11.
The program leader Suri developed the curriculum to teach campers the basics of coding using the Arduino microprocessor- the same technology that will be used in the 2017 TechGirlz Summer Camp. In addition to learning the principles of engineering design and coding, the girls learned about possible computer science careers from IT professionals and technology leaders. The three-day long camp concluded with a group trip to The Franklin Institute.
“I’ve seen firsthand the dearth of women in technology-related fields, and being a TechGirlz alumna, I wanted to inspire more girls to get excited about tech,” said Suri. “The objective of my outreach program was to confront and defuse the gender gap at its source by inspiring younger girls to pursue future careers in computing and technology.”
Both campers and guest speakers raved about the experience.
“I loved when we had to design our own projects,” said Iris, a student participating the camp. “It taught me that there are more jobs that have to do with computing than I thought, and I might be interested in them.”
Danielle Southerland of the University of Pennsylvania also had praises for the camp, saying it “allows for the students’ ideas, imagination and technology to merge and then grow into realistic solutions for real-life problems.”
To learn more, visit http://www.techgirlz.org/.
TechGirlz (www.TechGirlz.org) inspires middle school girls to explore the possibilities of technology. The organization’s aim is to help adolescent girls understand that a future in technology does not necessarily equate to “a boring computer job,” but instead transcends the cubicle into nearly every field imaginable. By encouraging women to participate in science and technology today, as well as providing a solid foundation of peers, mentors and positive role models, TechGirlz hopes to spark innovation, exhilaration and motivation in young women to become tomorrow’s tech leaders.
About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T
AT&T is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. The company’s signature philanthropic initiative, AT&T Aspire, drives innovation in education to promote student success in school and beyond. With a financial commitment of $400 million since 2008, AT&T is leveraging technology, relationships and social innovation to help all students make their biggest dreams a reality.