Coding Camp for Girls gives women tech opportunities – The Dickinson Press
DICKINSON – To educate young female minds about the benefits of technology, a group of leaders will join forces to host the first-ever coding camp for girls in June. The camp will also feature the 6th Annual Governor’s Summit on Innovative Education.
In conjunction with the Roughrider Area Career and Tech Center, Women Empowering Women will host 14 girls from southwestern North Dakota June 6-10 at Dickinson Middle School. On June 9, Governor Doug Burgum will stop to visit the girls and then host the Governor’s Summit at School, which aims to bring together local and national education leaders to share best practices and engage. with educators, administrators, parents and students. The summit will be free and open to the public.
In order to host this first-ever summer tech camp, Women Empowering Women President Ray Ann Kilen noted that they needed to secure funding through various state grants for non-traditional education and raise funds. funds to reach approximately $19,000.
Each of the girls will leave with a laptop, which will allow them to continue their education. Thanks in part to funds raised, every girl registered to attend will be able to do so at no cost.
“Part of the reason we wanted to not charge admission and leave these girls with their computers on top of the tech upgrades is that we were really sensitive to the disparity of opportunity between girls who are…in homes where they may be economically disadvantaged,” Kilen said. “…If you come from a financially vulnerable home, you may not be able to go to camp or afford a computer. And so, we just wanted to remove all those barriers because we really want to expose girls to (other) careers. Not everyone wants to be a nurse.
Girls attending the camp enter their second or junior year of high school in the fall and will learn from technology instructor Sandy Bertelsen. From building projects with Circuit Playground and learning basic introductory information, Bertelsen noted that camp will be mostly hands-on.
“It’s to let them know or make it clear to them that it’s not just for men,” Bertelsen said.
Due to the shortage of programmers, Bertelsen noted that it’s important to involve everyone who is interested and show them what careers are available.
When Women Empowering Women started gaining momentum, Bertelsen was a member and she wanted to run a coding camp for girls.
“We try to support women in all walks of life and we have something really good for older women. We have things to do for students. We have things for everyone, but (with) this young high school kid (and) these young women, I felt like we had to bring them in too,” Bertelsen said. said.
With industries changing in western North Dakota, Kilen noted that a technology education is so important. Kilen said she hopes this camp will also spur program growth in southwestern North Dakota school systems.
“Young women in western North Dakota who are interested in technology and don’t want to leave the area, there are jobs here. They can become those,” Kilen said. “Before, you were teaching, or you were a nurse, or you were a secretary because that’s what the jobs were. Now, you can be a biologist, you can be a chemist, you can be a coding person… The concept of introducing girls to alternative job opportunities, to me, is huge.