Spring is here and again it is time for incredible Microsoft Digigirlz events in Southern California (SoCal). Digigirlz events give girls the opportunity to get information about careers in technology through hands-on classes, workshops and interactive demonstrations. There have been various Digigirlz events in the SoCal area, which all were a huge success and got positive feedback from attendees, teachers and parents. Throughout the event, girls get inspired and encouraged to learn more about technology and programming by doing fun activities and they get a chance to talk with women and girls, who already work in the tech industry.
The first upcoming Digigirlz event will be held next week in San Diego on Friday, April 2nd, 2010. The event is free, but registration fills up fast, so if you know a girl interested in/curious about technology, encourage her to sign-up for the event. The event will include sessions about Introduction to Programming with Small Basic, Kodu, T-SQL and Lego Mindstorms. You can find all the details about registration and the event in the FAQ section. The location details for the San Diego Digigirlz event are displayed on the embedded map image.
Following the San Diego Digigirlz events, there will be an event on April 9 in Irvine and one on April 16 in Los Angeles. I am going to publish individual posts with location details for both events.
San Diego Digigirlz Event – Date: Friday, April 2nd, 2010
Registration will begin at 8:00am. The camp begins at 8:30am and continues until 3:30pm.
Southern California DigiGirlz F.A.Q.
Q. How do girls register to attend a DigiGirlz Event?
A. Microsoft accepts 7th, 8th and high-school girls on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Schools can request to register girls for a DigiGirlz Event in their city by using the contact or registration information provided next to the city name in the list on this page. For general questions, contact email@example.com.
- An individual girl who is currently in 7th grade or higher is welcome to apply for a DigiGirlz Event in her area by using the contact information provided in the list on this page or by sending an e-mail message with her name, her city and state, and the name of her school to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. How much does the event cost?
A. There is no cost associated with this event; Microsoft provides all resources and materials free of charge for the girls who attend.
Q. How does Microsoft choose the girls who attend?
A. Microsoft accepts girls and schools on a first-come, first-served basis. Local schools are encouraged to send in registration requests for their interested girls for this event as soon as possible.
Q. Is there an age requirement in order to be accepted to the DigiGirlz event?
A. You must be at least 13 years old OR in the 7th grade at the time of application to be eligible. If you are applying to a Summer camp, you must be entering the 7th grade in the Fall.
Q. Is there a GPA requirement in order to be accepted to the DigiGirlz Event?
A. No. There is not a GPA requirement.
Q. If a girl does not attend one of the targeted schools, can she still attend?
A. Yes. If the girl is currently in 7th grade or above, she is welcome to send a request to attend a DigiGirlz event in her area by using the contact information provided on this page or by sending an e-mail message with her name, her city and state, and the name of her school to email@example.com.
Q. I don’t live in the United States. May I still apply and attend?
A. Yes. All girls who meet the age and grade requirements are encouraged to apply to any of the camps. However, Microsoft does not provide lodging and transportation for the camp. It is up to you to make your own arrangements and pay for these expenses.
Q. Can teachers attend the event to better understand what their students are learning?
A. Yes. If teachers have students who will be attending the event, they are welcome and encouraged to attend the event. Teachers who attend can help encourage the girls to engage in technology programs throughout the school year. (Note: Microsoft is not able to offer continuing education credits for teachers who attend this event.)
Q: Can parents attend the camp with their daughters?
A. Generally, parents are not allowed to attend the events. If a participant has special needs that require a parent to serve as a personal attendant during the event, let us know.
Q. Is lunch provided, or should the girls bring money?
A. Lunch and snacks are provided free of charge for attendees. If you have special dietary needs or other special needs requests, please send an e-mail message to the contact listed for your event city.
Q. Do you require a certain level of technical experience to attend a camp?
A. No. The event is open to girls of all skill levels. The event provides hands-on workshops that are led by supportive instructors who can help you increase your abilities. For girls who may have already taken technology classes in school, the workshops will provide you with quick exposure to new technologies but may not go as in-depth as what you experienced in semester long courses.
Q. Is the camp content “age appropriate”?
A. Yes. The camp consists of hands-on labs, interactive demo sessions, collaborating as teams, Technology Careers panelists and education scholarship and internship information.
Q. Are any of the events overnight camps?
A. No, the camps are offered during the day only. Microsoft does not provide lodging and transportation for the camp. Camp participants must make their own arrangements and pay for these expenses.
Q. Why does Microsoft have high-tech camps just for girls?
A. The focus is on girls because of the following alarming statistics about girls in technology, from the NCWIT Statistics 2009:
- Girls make up fewer than 18 percent of all Advanced Placement (AP) computer science test takers in secondary schools. This is the lowest representation of any AP discipline.
- Between 2000 and 2008, the share of incoming undergraduate women interested in Computer Science dropped 79 percent.
- Women hold half of professional positions overall but only 25 percent of IT-related positions.
- At Fortune 500 IT companies, only 11 percent of corporate officer positions are held by women.
Q. Do you have a camp for boys?
A. Yes – Click on this link to go to the Teaching Kids Programming site.
Q. Where will the camps be located in 2010?
A. This site is for Southern California 2010 camp locations only. More camp dates and locations are always being added so check back for updates. Click here to see the current list of Southern California camps for Spring and Summer 2010.
Q. What should I do if I have questions that aren’t answered here?
A. More information is available at: http://www.microsoft.com/about/diversity/programs/digigirlz/digigirlzday.aspx or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will answer your questions.
You can download the Socal Digigirlz FAQ as a Word document or PDF document.
San Diego Digigirlz Event – Location:
The San Diego event will take place at National University, Technology and Health Sciences Center (3678 Aero Court, San Diego, CA 92123 – across from the Sheraton Four Points Hotel).
If you are interested in articles and photos about previous Microsoft Digigirlz SoCal events, check out these links:
Lynn Langit’s (SocalDevGal) Blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/socaldevgal
Digigirlz Live Spaces: http://digigirlz.spaces.live.com/
Digigirlz Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/digigirlz
Digigirlz events are not just informative, but very creative, interactive and fun! If you know a girl, who would like to attend a SoCal Digigirlz event, hurry up and register her to one of the events asap!
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