In order to get more girls interested in technology, the younger we start, the better. However, based on 2012 High School AP enrollment for Computer Science, only 0.7% of all students in NH took the course, and only 15% of that 0.7% were women. While this number is shockingly low, it was actually pretty good compared to the rest of the country, considering the fact that three states didn’t even have any female AP test takers.
To follow our mission of getting more girls involved in technology, last week a group of Future Tech Women (FTW) mentors from Dyn along with Catherine Blake, CEO of Sales Protocol went to Girls Technology Day, held at New Hampshire Institute of Technology (NHTI) to teach middle school and high school girls about careers in technology. One of our mentees, Pauline Wilk, also attended, along with two UNH professors, to teach the girls about Game Programming with Greenfoot and Inventing Apps for Android Phones with App Inventor.
In our Careers in Technology workshop, we wanted to show the girls that working in technology does not necessarily mean that you have to sit at a computer coding all day (unless you want to!). There are a multitude of options for tech careers and we wanted to bring light to jobs that they may not have thought of before.
Each of us ran individual activities that taught the girls a little bit about our individual jobs. Activities ranged from showing the girls the importance of giving concise instructions for documentation to “Planning Poker,” which taught the girls about Agile project management.
The founder of FTW and Dyn Technical Support Technician, Bethany Ross, lead an activity about DNS. She taught the girls about dig commands, IP addresses, and the overall importance of DNS. During her session, one of the students exclaimed, “Man, without DNS, the Internet would suck!” We all agreed wholeheartedly.
In total, 300 students attended Girls Technology Day and we were able to work with 90 of them. We loved talking to the girls about what they are interested in and being able to show them that even if you enjoy writing or teaching, there are still jobs for available in technology that let them explore their interests.