CRUSH CULTURAL BIAS: INSPIRING GIRLS TO TECH

Crush The Cultural Bias: Inspiring Girls To Tech

Give girls tools to embrace technology and become leaders. Fill the knowledge gap through a pilot program with Philadelphia area schools.

A girl knows her way around a mobile phone. It’s a different story when it comes to career aspirations. Technology is a male dominated field with rapid job growth. A new pilot program teaches girls 11-14 to succeed in a digital world. TechGirlz plans to partner with Philadelphia area public schools to offer free after-school courses. Girls will explore technology in all its facets. The journey inspires curiosity, imparts confidence, and builds community.

Founded in 2009, TechGirlz develops leading edge tech education workshops. A new pilot partnership with the National PTA can educate even more Philadelphia area girls in the coming academic year. Give girls the tools to crash the digital gates. Ignite a love of technology.

What is the community need that this idea addresses?

Right now, there’s a great opportunity to inspire young women to embrace technology and become leaders in the innovation economy. With over one million open jobs predicted across the nation, only a small number of women identify themselves as technologists.

Attracting women to STEM and tech has proved among the most difficult challenges to solve. Reasons include the cultural bias against girls as they demonstrate skills or aptitude; few technology courses in schools; other teaching priorities; lack of expertise to teach the subject; a narrow view of options in tech careers (not just coding), and stereotypes of technologists. Girls may not explore technology as a life skill and career path. Businesses need more tech educated workers. TechGirlz leads the way.

What is the solution that is currently in place?

TechGirlz ignites a love for technology in middle school girls through short, interactive workshops to teach middle school girls anytime, anywhere by volunteers. Our free, open-source courses inspire curiosity, impart confidence, and build community as the foundation for a girl’s technological future.

The TechGirlz curriculum pushes the envelope for redefining what young girls can – and should – learn about technology. Rather than delivering ongoing instruction, our TechShopz provide the additional support and guidance our partner schools need to build internal capacity and deliver inspirational technology instruction to girls across the region.

20,000 middle school girls have already taken part in our programming.

How will a Key to Community grant help?

TechGirlz will enhance and expand our successful Philadelphia program through new, dedicated recruitment initiatives and a new pilot partnership with the National PTA. With a focus on these growth initiatives, and the continued strength of our programs, we anticipate being able to serve more than 2,500 girls in the coming academic year in the Philadelphia area.

One key element is the pilot of our new TechShopz in a Box school project, which provides schools with volunteer facilitator training and expertise to provide after-school TechGirlz workshops. In so doing, this project creates an accessible starting point for communities to engage with technology, take control of technological futures, and transform the diversity and gender equality of the technology industry.

Idea Submitted by:

TechGirlz

Founded in 2009, TechGirlz develops leading edge tech education workshops for girls 11-14. High demand for our workshops led to TechShopz in a Box. The package contains expertly designed open source curricula, documents, and procedures. We recruit and train tech volunteers to lead programs anywhere and everywhere. Our free, open source library offers over 50 workshops on a wide range of topics from designing mobile apps, infographics and Arduino programming, to robotics, building web sites and animation. Each was created using a rigorous methodology of research, curricula development, expert review, and extensive testing and evaluation before its addition to our library.

Workshops are hands-on to engage girls with no previous experience. Several are available in Spanish. Hundreds of tech industry professionals work as volunteers to lead workshops and share experience. We presented 144 workshops to 2,134 girls across the Philadelphia region in the 2017-2018 school year.

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