Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, eBay, and others recently released diversity reports, and the revelations weren’t exactly shocking: The tech industry is dominated by white males. These reports have spurred discussions and recriminations…
…As educators, government officials, technology executives, and women’s groups discuss these issues, a growing number of grassroots organizations are looking to encourage young women to pursue STEM so they can be part of the next generation of tech workers. Here we highlight 12 of these organizations. If you’re a tech executive looking to do something about the gender gap, one of these groups could present an opportunity to volunteer your time to help educate and mentor young women and girls. If you’d like to encourage your own daughter to explore STEM opportunities, these organizations can help.
Collaborate for girls
The National Girls Collaborative Project brings together organizations throughout the US that are committed to informing and encouraging girls to pursue STEM careers. The organization comprises 31 networks of professionals, researchers, and practitioners covering 39 states and facilitating collaboration between 12,800 organizations that serve 8.35 million girls and 4.5 million boys. A list of upcoming events can be found here. You can learn more about getting involved with NGCP here.
Go Speed Racer
Looking to make engineering fun, 30 girls in the Chicago area are participating in the Icebox Derby, competing to build race cars out of refrigerators provided by utility company ComEd‘s refrigerator recycling program. The Icebox Derby ends August 23 with a race outside the Field Museum. Each team must complete five laps at speeds up to 15 mph. The teams can stop along the track to deal with technical issues or change drivers. The company is working with the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, Girls4Science, and the Chicago Urban League on the project, according to The Chicago Sun Times.
The Austin, Texas-based organization Girlstart provides a year-round, intensive suite of STEM education programs for K-12 girls. The organization’s core offerings include after-school programs, summer camps, and an annual Girls in STEM conference. As of 2013, Girlstart had 623 educators participating in its programs. The Girls in STEM Conference in 2013 had 576 attendees, and 586 girls attended 22 summer camps. In addition, 918 girls participated in 42 after-school programs in 11 school districts. Interested volunteers can learn more here.
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.