IT Girls 3.0

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.” 

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4th Annual IT Girls Creative Coding Day

Last week on St. Patrick’s Day, seventy girls representing middle schools all over town were lucky enough to attend the fourth annual IT-Girls Creative Computing event.  Sponsored by Louisiana Women in Technology and supported by STEMup Baton Rouge and the Foundation for East Baton Rouge School System, the goal of the program is to introduce girls to the field of information technology by exploring programming tools like Scratch and JavaScript (p5.js).  In addition to the fun coding challenges that included game and web design products, the girls were also exposed to over 30 volunteers representing either IT companies or career fields.  Big thanks goes out to key sponsors who included Louisiana Tech Park, Geocent, Sparkhound, General Informatics, New Aperio, NexusLA, Giraphics, K&J Home Services and the Foundation for East Baton Rouge School System.  We also wish to thank Costco, Bet-R and Whole Foods who supplied snacks for the day.