We hosted around 20 girls over the past two days at Microsoft’s Irvine, CA office. The global DigiGirlz program is funded by Microsoft and supports annual hosting of either one-day spring events or multi-day summer camps. The goal of the events is to get high-school aged girls interested in technology careers. I am the lead for SoCal. This year I elected to lead 4 events. The two spring events occurred in LA and San Diego. This first camp was held in Irvine. There will be another two-day camp at New Horizons, Culver City, CA on Thursday August 27 and 28. 50 high-school aged girls are registered to attend that camp.
The OC Register covered the Irvine event both on the front page of today’s Local section (two photos and a short story) and on-line (13 photos and stories).
Also some of the leads took pictures. Kim Schmidt was showing the girls SongSmith.
John Hubbard created a Photosynth of the participants.
Here is the list of volunteers (their roles at the camp listed as well) for the Irvine camp:
From Microsoft: Cindy Palmer / proctor
From the local technical community:
Kim Schmidt, Gina Johnston, Chris Savolskis curriculum creators, instructors and proctors
John Hubbard, Michael Hubbard / proctors
Marek Schmidt / setup help
Alexandra Moth / Heather Vescent / Lauren Berger / speakers
and a picture 🙂
We encourage ANYONE to reuse our curriculum. Below is the agenda and after that are all our our PowerPoint presentations.
8:00 – 8:30 – prepare facility, greet girls, gather registration / release forms – Icebreaker
9:00-10:00 – SQL Database class
10:00 – 10:15 – break
10:30-11:45 – Small Basic class
11:45 – 1:00 – Lunch + technical career discussion with all instructors
1:00 – 2:15 – DemoFest – Kodu, MS Surface, SongSmith, Windows 7 multi touch applications
2:15 – 3:00 – speaker, Intern Queen – Lauren Berger
8:00 – 8:30 – prepare facility, greet girls
9:00-10:00 – Movie maker class
10:00 – 10:15 – break
10:30-11:45 – XNA Game class
11:45 – 1:00 – Lunch + speaker – Alex Moth from Girl Gamer
1:00 – 2:15 – Blend 3 class
2:15 – 3:00 – speaker, Heather Vescent from the Purple Tornado
Classroom machine setup requires the following
Vista w/ Windows Movie Maker
SQL Server Express 2008 w/Advanced Services
Visual Studio 2008 Express C#
Expression Blend 3 CTP + Silverlight SDK
We also set up demo machines with
Kodu (Academic edition is via internal MS beta only) and requires wired XBox 360 controller
SongSmith – (non-expiring edition is via internal MS beta only)
Windows 7 Touch Pack Applications on multi touch HP TouchSmart tx2 laptop (software is MS internal only at this time)
We used a samples files for the database class (boyfriends.mdf) and for Blend class. We also created an icebreaker activity. All of these files can be downloaded from this Skydrive location (you must sign in with ANY Windows Live ID first).
Another important piece of information we shared with all of the DigiGirlz is the fact that they (and ANY high-school aged student) can have access to FULL VERSIONS of our software for studying via the DreamSpark program. Included products are shown in the screenshot below.
So, spread the word, find a kid and teach her (or him) how to code today! If you’d like to be a part of a future DigiGirlz event, please read the FAQ below first.
Q. When is the next event? Is there an event in my area?
A. Read the DigiGirlz site – all events are listed there.
Q. I want to send my daughter – what is the age limit? requirement, etc..?
A. Read the DigiGirlz site – all attendance information is listed there. All attendees must register in advance. Each event has specific attendance limits because there are hands on classes (i.e. need to have one computer per attendee.)
Q. I would like to volunteer, what can I do?
A. Great! We need help with logistics management (i.e. answer email, evaluations, etc..) and with technical classroom proctoring. We do conduct ‘train-the-trainer’ sessions at DigiGirlz SoCal prior to each event. Proctors should have technical backgrounds.
Q. Can I use your courseware?
A. Yes, but this is a volunteer effort, so there is no one to support it beyond what I post on this blog.
Q. I would like to be a speaker at a DigiGirlz event, what is the next step?
A. Send an email to the event coordinator (email listed on DigiGirlz site) with your resume / topic
Q. I am a teacher, can I attend?
A. This varies by location. Contact the location lead to ask via the email listed on the DigiGirlz site.
Q. Can boys attend?
A. No, this program is specifically targeted at girls. However, you can use/modify the courses and hold your own event with these topics.