Haley Weiss, an intern and writer for Philadelphia Magazine, writes about TechGirlz 2017 Arduino Summer Camp. This year, the camp used a new computer science and programming curriculum to instruct the middle school girls! The article highlights last week’s camp, discusses the importance to have programs like this available to young girls, and includes some video clips/student insights about the fun-filled week. The full article was originally published on the PhillyMag website in the BizPhilly section.
TechGirlz wrapped up its annual summer camp on Friday, after an intense week of learning with a brand new tech curriculum this year. Nearly two dozen middle school girls gathered at Villanova University’s School of Business on Friday to show off a fleet of robots they coded and built.
Over just a few days, students studied Arduino, a versatile electronics platform that allowed them to code their robots’ sensor-based movements using C/C++ programming language.
This was the first year TechGirlz has focused on computer science and programming during the summer camp. Since Tracey Welson-Rossman launched the nonprofit in 2010, with the mission of empowering young girls to utilize technology confidently in their future career, the summer program has focused on marketing and tech entrepreneurship, culminating with a business pitch competition.
“Young girls are already thinking this way. But we’re not allowing them to think this way,” Welson-Rossman told me. “We as a society need to understand that girls – young women – should be part of the innovation economy. And we’re turning them away.”
After seven years in operation, the TechGirlz community Welson-Rossman has built is larger than ever. “We have some of our first students starting college in the fall,” Welson-Rossman said. “And for all the girls – they know that we’re here. And they can come back, and they can ask us for support. As we see more of these girls growing up with us, we’re going to be there for them.”