Middle School Girls Learn About Technology Careers During Summer Camp

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Girls are one of our nation's most under supported resources when it comes to technology. Girls leave elementary school confident and eager to learn, but something happens in middle school. These are the years when social pressure, body image, and academic prowess make the biggest impression, usually for the worse.

The research in the field indicates the number of young women going into computer science as a profession is dropping, which is one reason why the Intro2Tek camp was started. The Technology Camp is a local effort to turn the trend around and get girls interested in science, technology, engineering, math and much more.

By high school, many students have decided their likely career path. In elementary school, students are too young to understand key concepts. The magic moment is ages 10 through 13 when girls can be introduced to technology concepts that are designed with girls in mind.

Intro2Tek Camp is a fun and structured experience for middle school girls age 10 - 14. “It is different from a traditional Computer Camp,” says Joanne Adeyami, an Information Systems PhD student at Claremont Graduate University. “We don’t focus on game design or computer programming. This Technology Camp teaches students how to use popular and emerging technologies in ways that will help them in school now and later in career development.”

Students will learn Internet safety and etiquette, how to create multimedia presentations, team building roles and skills, and how to use Geographical Information Systems (GIS) with geography and cartography in a fun and novel way. In addition, girls will be introduced to fun and lucrative careers in Science Technology Engineering and Math.

In order to ignite the interest of girls in technology, we must give them early exposure to confident, competent women role models, and engage them at an early age in fun, creative programs that build their confidence and comfort levels with technology and help them to thrive and flourish in technical studies. Intro2Tek provides an opportunity for girls to discover the possibilities before them and the potential within them. There are two important factors in getting girls interested in technology:

  •      Girls like to join clubs and take classes with their friends.
  •     Girls need role models; they need to see women using computers competently and confidently for positive gain.

“You have to encourage girls to study technology,” says Rondalynne McClintock, owner of Education Access Solutions. “Technology is everywhere, and IT can be applied to other areas. No matter what you’re doing, technology is a part of it. A background in it is essential so you don’t get left behind.”

The Intro2Tek technology camp at the Goldy Lewis Community Center in Rnacho Cucamonga offers middle school girls the opportunity to explore occupations in technology. Intro2Tek places particular emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers along with occupations where females are typically a minority (non-traditional occupations). At the culmination of the two-day camp, the girls leave Intro2Tek with increased enthusiasm for learning and heightened confidence in their abilities.

For additional information on Intro2Tek Technology Camps for girls contact Roni McClintock at Education Access Solutions (800) 544-7247.

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Rondalynne McClintock

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