By Children’s Librarian Eileen Saam
Have you heard about TechGirlz? Each month, the Oak Park Public Library hosts TechGirlz workshops for girls in grades 5-8.
What is TechGirlz?
Nonprofit organization TechGirlz offers free, fun, interactive workshops with a focus on empowering middle school girls to explore the possibilities of technology and empower their future careers. TechGirlz’s manifesto highlights a variety of important reasons for why they offer this type of programming, including this reason:
Technology is a creative skill. It conveys the right to create and requires technical skill channeled by vision, creativity and an understanding of the world around us. Girls should be embraced as valuable creative contributors.techgirlz.org
What are the workshops like?
Led by industry professionals, community leaders, and students, the workshops are designed to create innovative, supportive spaces where girls have the opportunity to learn, share, and expand their technological horizons.
When participants come to a TechGirlz workshop they can feel confident knowing that even if they have a very basic understanding of the technology, the instructor and teaching assistants will help them apply what they have learned. At the end of each workshop, participants can share their work and learn from each other.
What type of workshops are offered?
- Are you interested in learning how mobile apps are designed? There’s a TechGirlz workshop for that!
- Are you interested in building your own voice app? There’s a TechGirlz workshop for that!
- Are you interested in telling your own story with graphics? There’s a TechGirlz workshop for that!
Some of the TechGirlz workshops that the library has hosted virtually include coding, podcasting, game design, video production, and artificial intelligence.
Where can I register?
Register now to join us for these upcoming virtual TechGirlz workshops hosted by the library:
VIRTUAL: You Can Be a Photographer: Photography for Marketing
Wednesday, February 23, 5:30-7:30 pm. Students will learn how to put a sunset and a starry night sky into the background of their photographs, as well as some other fun effects using (PIXLR) and PhotoLayers.
VIRTUAL: TechGirlz Workshop: Solving Genetic Mysteries With Online Tools & Family Histories
Wednesday, March 16, 6-8 pm. Learn about the free technologies available to examine genes and visualize a family tree!
VIRTUAL: Web Concepts
Saturday, March 19, 9:30-11:30 am. This workshop is a brief introduction to how websites work, how they are built, and how to become a person who builds websites.
VIRTUAL: Think Like a Digital Designer: Unplugged
Saturday, April 9, 11:30 am-1:30 pm. Students will learn how researchers, designers, and developers use design thinking to create digital experiences like the ones in their favorite apps!
VIRTUAL: Mapping for Humanity: Using Digital Mapping to Better the World
Wednesday, June 15, 5:30-7:30 pm. Students will learn how satellite images, collected by various agencies around the world, can be used to help global humanity.
More TechGirlz workshops are available at techgirlz.org.
If you love technology, you love learning new things, you are in grades 5-8, and you identify as a girl, I hope you join a TechGirlz workshop!
Eileen Saam is a children’s digital learning librarian who loves discovering new things, learning from others, and sharing with children the joy and wonder of books. One of her favorite things to do at the library is to help children, families, and teachers find books and digital resources that delight and inspire them.