IT Girls 3.0
February 26, 2016 —Baton Rouge, LA - Today, LaWIT and STEMup put on the IT Girls 3.0 event hosted at Baton Rouge Community College.
The event is geared to East Baton Rouge Parish Middle School girls, in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, and provides an opportunity for female students to learn computer coding used in game and app design from local IT professionals. This programming falls during National Engineers Week (February 21-27), founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers to increase interest and understanding in engineering and technology careers. The event is co-sponsored by Louisiana Women in Technology (LaWIT), the Foundation for East Baton Rouge School System (EBRSS), and STEMup Baton Rouge, with IBM, Louisiana Technology Park, Geocent, Sparkhound, Costco, Whole Foods, Bet-R Grocery, and Best Buy.
The goal of the event is to increase student interest in STEM and preparedness for the STEM workforce and Louisiana’s knowledge economy. Mentored by a local IT professionals, female students will have a unique opportunity to actively explore and gain greater insight into the high-demand field of computer programming. LaWIT prides itself as a conduit between students and professionals, emphasizing the need for our next generation to pursue and master STEM careers. With the resources of the professional community behind it, LaWIT aims to raise awareness so that young women feel empowered to pursue a challenging, creative, and fulfilling career path.
“This event has doubled in size since the pilot program in 2014. We've had tremendous support from the community and I'm very appreciative of the 30 volunteers that are taking the time to help with this event,” says Kristen Reeves, executive director of LaWIT and senior systems administrator at Geocent. “The only way that we can make IT Girls happen is by the continued dedication from our members and the companies in the local community that believe in our mission.”
“This event will give girls an introduction to creative computing with Scratch and App Inventor, MIT developed programming tools,” says Kim Fossey, program director for STEMup Baton Rouge, an initiative of the Foundation for EBRSS. “The lesson, which will result in a game developed by the students and a phone app, will emphasize the knowledge and practices they they will need to create different types of media they use in their everyday lives.”
More photos below: