What is TechGYRLS?
TechGYRLS is an after school program that gives girls in elementary and middle school a chance for hands on exploration of graphic arts, web design, animation, and robotics in a mentoring environment. The purpose of this program is both for fun and education. The goal of TechGYRLS is to help alleviate future barriers to gender oriented professions in technology. By training girls early in life for these higher paid nontraditional occupations and by building their confidence and technical competence these gender issues will be non-existent.
With the encouragement of mentors who are women already established in technology and/or college women studying the field, the girls develop the confidence to use technology tools in whatever profession they pursue and to discover links between enjoyable technology projects and academic subjects such as math and science. The program utilizes Microworlds software and Lego Robotics Mindstorms.
Objectives of TechGYRLS
- Bridge the digital divide among genders and economic levels
- Help girls develop communication, critical thinking, time management, teamwork and presentation skills
- Enhance the technical and literacy competence of TechGYRLS participants
- Give girls the opportunity to think of transferring their technical skills into career pursuits later in life
- Raise girls’ level of self confidence, natural curiosity and ability to function successfully in technology
TechGYRLS clubs meet two afternoons a week for 1½ – 2 hours. The program typically runs for 14 weeks a year, divided into two 7-week sessions. Activities in the curriculum range from learning drawing and animation to making and programming robotic objects.
This is a day for the girls to invite their families, friends, and teachers to see all the things they’ve made after each 7-week session. There will also be food, fun, and awards!
Here’s an example of a slide show that was displayed at the 2012 Middle School TechEXPO.
Who Can Join TechGYRLS?
TechGYRLS Clubs are open to girls in elementary and middle school. Participants will need to have some knowledge of using a computer such as how to use a mouse and how to navigate the tool bar.
How Many Members are in a Club?
A maximum of 15 girls can be enrolled in a TechGYRLS Club.
Where Will This Program Be Held?
TechGYRLS clubs are currently offered at various schools in the Bethlehem Area School District and will be expanding to other locations as funding permits.
In the News!
Here are some of the links to recent press coverage of the TechGYRLS Program!
TechGYRLS Create Video Games
(Lehigh Valley Live: 12/23/11)
TechGYRLS Create robots at a young age