Tuesday, April 21, 2015

APS Girl's Tech Camp Was Awesome!

Girl's Tech Camp Students Listening to Keynote Speaker, Nancy Felix of DaVita, Inc.
The ladies of our Ed Tech department, were fortunate to be able to help with the Aurora Public Schools Girl's Tech Camp last week. This empowering and educational event was hosted by APS Information Technology and Educational Technology. Each middle school and K-8 school was invited to send one teacher and five 6th grade girls to this one-day camp.  If given the opportunity, which of the events would you and your students have liked to participate in?
The students had the opportunity to participate in a series of activities that centered around STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), which allowed them to experience how fun and exciting the STEM areas can be and the great career opportunities available to them. The keynote speaker Nancy Felix, Senior IT Manager with DaVita, Inc. kicked off the day, while Hewlett Packard and Counter Trade helped sponsor the event and had representatives that volunteered.

Students Collaborating on a Winning Design
3-D Design Challenge
It was so much fun to watch the girls reactions as they walked into this session and realized that they
were going to be on Minecraft, a computer game for designing and building. Each of the students chose a plot in the community and were able to build any structure they desired.  Some ladies were already advanced and built elaborate houses, space crafts and water parks. Though many had little or no experience building with Minecraft, each participant was able to build something by the end of the session.  The creativity and excitement was contagious.

Getting Hands On Opportunities

During this session, the girls learned how to disassemble and reassemble a netbook that was formatted to work similar to a Chromebook. I heard many positive comments about how much they enjoyed being able to take it apart and see the insides. The students were so proud that they could put their computers back together. The best part of this session was that each participant got to take home the netbook they worked on.

Snap Circuits
The students were able to explore circuits in this session. The goal was to make the lights and sounds work by putting the circuit together properly.
Tapping into their Creativity

Making and launching rockets was the focus of this session. The ladies worked in collaborative groups in order to plan together.

Visual Share Outs Using Posters
After participating in all four fun activities, the students worked with their school teams to create a poster about what they had learned and the impact it had on them.

3-D Printer
Throughout the day, a 3-D Printer was in use in the lobby printing four different items voted on by the students. The biggest hit was the bracelets that the printer produced. All items were raffled off to happy students.

Everyone Gets a Netbook
My highlight, was listening to the comments by students and volunteers. Before the event started, I was talking to some of the girls asking if they were glad to be there. One student told me that she has been so excited about it that she barely slept
the night before and a volunteer shared that this was the best day he had had all year. As I was driving some of the ladies back to school, there was non-stop conversation about the day. This past week while I was at schools, some of the girls approached me to talk more about it. They wanted to let me know they had been using their computers they received and they were curious about who won the 3-D Design Challenge.

If you were a participant and would like to share your APS Girl's Tech Camp highlights, add a comment below.  Be sure to join us for next year's event!

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