On April 30th, fourteen girls ages of 12-14 visited La Salle University’s Communication Department, eager to learn about the different stages of video production. They attended a free workshop which allowed the girls to stretch their creative talents by writing and shooting a Public Service Announcement (PSA) about the gender gap in the technology industry.
At the workshop, the girls collaborated in small groups, tasked with focusing on a specific message they wanted to share about girls in technology. Each group crafted a script, created a sequenced storyboard and shot and edited the entire PSA. The three PSAs feature various production techniques learned over the course of the three hours including voiceovers and panorama shots and even a few dance moves.The girls were able to show off their hard work as the final step in the PSA-making process was posting their videos to Youtube for the world to see.
TV production student, N’Dia Dugue, and communication professor and La Salle TV station manager, Tonya Ellis, were instrumental in organizing this workshop. The idea to get involved came to N’Dia last fall when, as a senior in La Salle’s communications program, she overheard a conversation in a coffee shop between women discussing their involvement with the non-profit organization, TechGirlz. N’Dia’s interest was sparked when she learned the non-profit’s mission was to reduce the gender gap in the technology industry by developing fun and educational workshops geared specifically for middle school girls.
“At the time I was in a TV studio production class and I thought [TechGirlz] would be great to highlight on the show” – N’Dia Dugue
Tonya and N’Dia were also able to enlist the help of six current female communication students, Corie Meredith (Jr), Taylor Cammon (Sr), Cali Arenson (Fr), Anna Gomez (Jr), Audrey Brush (Jr) and Alyssa McFadden (So) for the video production workshop in April. Both the La Salle student volunteers and middle schooler attendees found the experience exciting and rewarding.
“I’m looking forward to [organizing] more workshops in the future.” – Tonya Ellis.
TechGirlz workshops cover a variety of subjects in technology from web, game, and app development, circuits, coding, to robotics. Anyone can run a workshop even if you are not familiar with an area, the nonprofit has lesson plans that you can follow with their free TechShopz in a Box materials. Or you can come up with your own lesson plan like N’Dia and Tonya did. All that matters is changing the way middle school girls can engage with technology.
Watch La Salle TV’s Explorer show where Sarah Johnson discussed how people can get involved by hosting their own workshop with TechGirlz TechShopz in a Box™.
Written by volunteers N’Dia Dugue and Alyssa Montgomery