Earlier this month I had the privilege of once again volunteering my time to teach at Microsoft’s regional DigiGirlz conference in Charlotte, NC. Microsoft established these camps to help dispel the all-male stereotypes of the high-tech industry and to give girls a chance to experience, firsthand, what it is like to develop cutting-edge technology.
Presenting information Internet Safety and interacting with the girls at these conferences is always inspiring – the idea that Internet safety is something you have to force down kids throats is absurd. No kid or teen wants to be bullied, scammed, disrespected, or stalked nor do they want to place their family or home at risk. Youth are in fact eager to learn the skills needed to have a safer online experience and they are remarkably diligent in sharing their knowledge with others.
Girls at these camps have a great time, get to try several technologies, and gain tremendous insight into careers they might never even have heard of within the hi-tech industry – not everyone writes code!
Microsoft’s DigiGirlz program is primarily targeted towards high school aged students, but will accept young ladies as young as 13, and there are is no cost for participating. This year the camps were held in 10 locations across the US, and in 6 international locations.
I strongly encourage you to think about the young women you know in the appropriate age range and help them apply when registration opens in early spring 2010. Put a reminder on your calendars today.
Again, click here to go to the DigiGirlz website.