Just wanted to share my experience and follow-up on my previous post. It was an awesome experience to deliver a workshop at this year’s Microsoft’s DigiGirlz High Tech Camp. This camp is hosted yearly worldwide in the summer for high school girls, and the intention is to dispel the stereotypes in the high-tech industry. This is not just a local camp in Irving, Texas and families are willing to travel to have a great experience. This year they had girls that came from Arkansas, Illinois, and other local cities throughout Texas.
With the lack and motivation of students pursuing S.T.E.M. careers, this camp helps the community as Microsoft to takes the lead encouraging girls to continue their education in the field of technology. As stated by one of Microsoft’s Senior Support Escalation Engineer Kimberly Powell in the local Rambler Newspaper:
We’re trying to show, and teach them that technology is really cool.
If you like math and science already, great.
A lot of jobs, pretty much anything you can think of, will involve technology.
Also stated by Stephanie (Jazzy) Doakes, a Microsoft Enterprise Architect and the woman who runs this camp:
We're taking steps to ensure that our future is bright. A diverse workforce is crucial to success. Exposing girls to technology is just one way that I contribute in our community outreach efforts and hopefully get more women interested in technology-related fields.
The four different workshops that were delivered at this year’s camp were:
It was really fun dressing up as a Chef and asking them “How many of you know how to cook?”
In every session, almost all the girls raised their hands with puzzled face and I’m sure they were thinking “How does cooking have anything to do with technology?”
That’s when I told them that “In this class you are going to learn Whipping Up Awesome Code with CHEF™.”
They were like sponges, absorbing all the details and could easily relate the building blocks to cooking concepts like resources (as if they were ingredients), recipes, cookbooks, roles (like sous chef, pastry chef, master chef), environments, etc. etc...
The DigiGirlz camp has made such an impact on one of the attendees, age 16 and her friend, that they have attended the camp more than once. She was quoted stating:
The first day we went to a workshop that specialized in teaching us what Chef is.
It’s basically infrastructure as code, and that was really interesting and really cool to learn about.
Diversity was well represented and it showed at this year's Microsoft DigiGirlz High Tech Camp 2015.
These are the future coders @ Chef Whipping Up Awesome!
Would like acknowledge the following people at Chef for making this all possible:
Special thanks to Matt Ray (@mattray) for providing the slide deck used to teach this workshop.
Also special thanks to Sarah Cheney (@sarahhyneschene) for the swag gifts handed out.