TechGirlz Coding Classes Putting the ‘Free’ in Free Library of Philadelphia

Danica Pascavage, TechGirlz Outreach Coordinator for the Philadelphia area, recently wrote a guest post for Philly to talk about the new partnership for the non-profit. In this article, she shares the exciting news that in October, with help from the city and Councilman Allan Domb — TechGirlz and the Free Library of Philadelphia kicked off a partnership to help end the gender gap in STEM careers. The full article was originally published October 20, 2017 on the Philly website.

Girls at the Free Library of Philadelphia

Hosted by the Free Library’s neighborhood branches, powered by TechGirlz’s open-sourced curriculum and led by TechGirlz mentors and university students, the partnership works for a few reasons.

1. We are tackling all sides of the accessibility issue

Philadelphia’s libraries are centrally located, making them convenient destinations for families without transportation. Kicking off at the South Philadelphia Library, the workshops will spread to several more Free Library locations in the coming months. Additionally, their branches will provide devices so that students without laptops or tablets can take part.

2. We are showing girls the diversity of available tech careers

Of course “girls can code,” but we also want to show them the broad spectrum of careers in the innovation economy. Our first workshop, which took place Oct. 4, taught students to make websites using WordPress. [Other recent workshops included Oct. 21 Designing Mobile Apps and Program with Kudo on Nov. 15.] Going forward, the Free Library will be able to tap into TechGirlz’s full curriculum of topics from podcasting to video game development.

3. We are making mentorship a centerpiece of the program

Including university students as teachers offers a particularly effective set of role models — students who are relatively close in age, and successfully pursuing an education and career in STEM.

Girls at the Free Library of Philadelphia

TechGirlz is able to bring these programs to the South Philadelphia Library, thanks to funding from Startup PHL and others. Look in the Upcoming TechShopz Events section of our website for the next Free Library workshop near you!

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