PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- You hear about the importance of STEM education, especially for girls. TechGirlz (techgirlz.org) continues to act in order to bring more STEM opportunities to girls. With all of the changes that 2020 and the global pandemic have necessitated, TechGirlz continued to provide middle school age girls with free, hands-on, tech education by converting their in-person workshops (TechShopz) to a virtual format. From April through August, TechGirlz and its volunteers and partner organizations held 102 virtual TechShopz, six week-long virtual TechCampz. More than 3,200 girls attended these on-line events.
Given the overwhelming popularity of the virtual TechShopz and the transition of many school districts to remote learning, the TechGirlz staff began to reimagine how they could continue to meet girls' need not only for tech education, but also virtual community. Their solution - TechPodz (techgirlz.org/techpodz/) - is scheduled to launch on October 19, 2020.
TechPodz are small groups of middle school girls and TechGirlz volunteers who will meet weekly for 6 weeks. Within each TechPodz environment, the middle school girls will make connections with other girls their age while learning various tech topics and other skills. Additionally, each TechPod will have assigned Teaching Assistants, so there will always be a familiar adult during all TechPod sessions. TechPodz provides student-centered instruction and community while keeping families safe and healthy. To further encourage the sense of community with other girls and women in tech, each TechPod is being named after a notable woman in tech - for example Ada Lovelace, Gladys Mae, Grace Hopper, Katherine Johnson, the Women of ENIAC and more.
"TechPodz are a unique and timely addition to TechGirlz programming. Our mission has always been to inspire girls to explore all the possibilities in technology while also providing the girls with a community of other girls with similar interests and mentors and role models in our volunteers. Previously this was achieved through our in-person TechShopz and since March 2020 with our virtual workshops. TechPodz allow us to provide not only the tech education, but the opportunity to develop stronger connections with other girls who share their interests" says TechGirlz National Outreach Manager, Alicia Park.
TechPodz will be comprised of individual girls whose parents have registered them for the program. These girls will get to know each other and possibly even make a friend from a different state. For girls who are already in a school based remote learning pod, their entire pod can join as a group. TechPodz provides student-centered instruction and community while keeping families safe and healthy.
About TechGirlz TechGirlz is a nonprofit program of Creating IT Futures that fosters a love for technology in middle school girls. Our free, open source technology courses can be used by anyone to inspire curiosity, impart confidence and build community as the foundation for the application of technology throughout a girl's career and life. TechShopz courses have been taught by volunteer instructors in several states and four countries to tens of thousands of girls. To learn more or find out how you can participate, please visit http://www.techgirlz.org/.
About Creating IT Futures Founded in 1998 by CompTIA, Creating IT Futures is a 501(c)(3) charity with the mission of helping populations under-represented in the information technology industry and individuals who are lacking in opportunity to prepare for, secure, and be successful in IT careers. Learn more at www.creatingITfutures.org.