What kind of Chicagoland STEM event is special enough to have an entire blog post of its own? One that we’re co-hosting! STEM Kids Chicago is partnering with Tamasin Ford, owner of Power Up Tech Academy, to help girls and their moms develop their app-etites for coding. On Saturday, May 21, we’re putting on a workshop called Girl Power Apps and Snacks. This one-time program will run from 2-4 pm at Power Up Tech Academy, 2867 North Clybourn Avenue in Chicago. The program is open to girls age 10-13 and their mothers (or aunts or grandmas).
The participants will learn MIT’s App Inventor, an easy-to-use program that relies on “drag and drop” blocks of code to build apps for Android phones. Girls and their mothers will walk out of the workshop having built two functional apps: “Crystal Ball,” which answers questions in the manner of a high-tech Magic 8 Ball® , and “My Best Advice,” a personalized mobile guidebook of favorite places to go and things to do. No previous coding experience is required.
Tamasin has witnessed the enthusiasm of girls who learn computer programming in her classes at Power Up Tech Academy, where, incidentally, several of her instructors are women. She also knows that learning to program is empowering. She loves seeing the light bulbs go off when kids realize that they can create cool content instead of just consuming it. And Tamasin and I both know these skills open the doors to lucrative careers in high-tech fields where women remain underrepresented.
For my part, I’m excited to host a mother-daughter workshop because I think it will also boost the moms’ self-confidence and comfort around tech, especially if for women who grew up in an era when programming was considered a “boy” thing.
The workshop costs $40 per mother-daughter pair. Registration is required and space is limited, so register today at powerupta.com/girlpower. Call 773-382-0778 if you have any questions. Computers, Android devices for use during the program, and, of course, snacks will be provided.