On Friday March 18th, NERD welcomed over 250 high school girls for the annual DigiGirlz Conference. DigiGirlz is a nationwide program that gives teenage girls the opportunity to learn about STEM based careers through workshops and lectures.
The day started off with a speech by Alyssa Goodman, Professor of Astronomy at Harvard University, who exposed students to the types of careers that they could pursue in STEM. As the day continued the girls got to attend a variety of sessions which included:
- Creating a Digital World with Kodu, where they built their own virtual world
- CS Unplugged, which helped them learn about technology away from the computer
- PicoCricket from the Museum of Science, which enabled students to create their own electronic inventions
- Internet Safety, where students discussed online safety issues
- Artbotics, where they met Nick, a robotic piece of art, from The Revolving Museum.
One of the more popular segments of the day was the Future Career Panel, where students got to learn about four distinctly different career tracks from local young professionals. These women spoke about the use of technology in nursing, veterinary medicine, digital fashion, and game design.
Lastly, students were able to learn about how they could get involved in STEM, outside the classroom, by participating in high school internship programs at Microsoft and other tech companies in the area.
The day was concluded with a raffle drawing where one lucky student won an Xbox Arcade gaming package.
“The program gets better every year, especially with continued help from our community partners. It’s inspiring to see these young women unleash their creativity once they are given an opportunity to innovate using technology. I think it’s important to dispel many of the myths of careers in technology, and connecting the girls with potential role models in the industry is a great way to get them started. “
Edwin Guarin, Senior Academic Evangelist, Microsoft
A total of 31, public and private, schools were represented at this year’s conference. Those having the biggest turnout were J.D. O’Bryant, AMSA, and Charlestown High. Microsoft NERD has hosted a DigiGirlz conference every year since its opening and we look forward to welcoming the girls back next spring!
P.S. Our district sales office based in Waltham also organized a DigiGirlz day. Click here to read the event recap.