The BGC Atlanta Chapter is continuing to build upon the local excitement and drive to educate and empower girls of color in technology. After holding three successful workshops at the end of 2012 which tackled website and mobile app development, the chapter held its fourth workshop on the timely tech topic of robotics. They partnered with a variety of local organizations such as AdvancED and included robotics teams from Georgia FIRST, Robotics Education Foundation, Grow Up N Tech, and Spelman University’s SpelBots to engage in educating girls from underrepresented communities on the 21st century skills necessary to become the tech leaders and creators of tomorrow. “Robotics is an area in technology where the absence of women, particularly African American and Latina women, is not only obvious but startling” said Yolanda Davis, Black Girls CODE Chapter Lead. “It is extremely important to introduce robotics to Black Girls CODE students not only because it covers so many disciplines within STEM, but also because robotics will be central to many of the solutions to challenges that we’ll face in the future.”
The hands-on robotics workshop brought to life the fact that the future of technology is actually here today and within their reach. Students were split into groups based on their age and grade level. Within their groups, students rotated through various workshops where they built and programmed robots, interacted with advanced robots provided by event partners and learned about the robotics competition world. SpelBots, an all African-American female robotics team, also offered a closing Q&A session for girls and parents to learn more about pursuing robotics as a career. Kyle Fender, robotics instructor and GeorgiaFIRST Advisory Counsel member remarked, "Working as an instructor and GeorgiaFIRST liason with BlackGirlsCode was an amazing experience! This organization has the ability, heart, and people behind it to significantly change the culture of African-American women being involved with STEM fields."
While students participated in the expo, parents were treated to an information panel hosted by Georgia Public Broadcasting titled Why STEM Matters: Understanding the Real World Needs for STEM Education”. They were informed on the importance of STEM from the individual girl to the country and given resources available in the community to help support their daughters moving forward in STEM. Panel participants were Dr. Shaundra Daily, Assistant Professor at Clemson University; Candace Mitchell, CEO and Co-Founder of Techturized;
Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls CODE and recent winner of the Digital
Vanguard Award from Women Interactive, is excited to see the success of the workshop. “Black Girls CODE is a transformative global movement fueled by the power of individual but connected engaged chapters. We are all dedicated to providing girls of color with the technical skills and inspiration to become technology leaders of tomorrow. I am thrilled to see the strength and the growth of BGC in the Atlanta Chapter. Their critical work not only educates girls in Atlanta, but empowers girls around the globe.”
This workshop is a continuation of many classes Black Girls CODE has held in Atlanta. The chapter plans to host several additional workshops in 2013 on a variety of technology topics such as Web/Mobile App Development and Core Programming. For more information about these workshops, follow @VolunteerBGCATL.
About Black Girls CODE
Since 2011, Black Girls CODE has been a transformative global movement fueled by the power of individual but connected and engaged chapters dedicated to providing girls of color with the technical skills and inspiration to become technology leaders of tomorrow. Black Girls CODE is committed to changing the face of technology. In 2012 its first full year of programming - BGC engaged, educated and empowered 800 girls in 16 cities across the globe. In 2013, BGC will #ChangeTheRatio #1GirlataTime by launching 7 local chapters and bringing tech programming to 15 new cities. Join BGC at facebook.com/
Yolanda M. Davis & Cheri M. Starr