I am a front-end developer and designer at ProWorks, and also involved with ChickTech Corvallis. ChickTech is an organization that introduces girls and women to tech fields and supports their advancement in tech. On June 24th I helped run an event for local high school girls at HP in Corvallis that introduced them to tech fields via hands-on workshops.
I am a co-leader of ChickTech Corvallis, and also led the Web Design workshop at the event. Other workshops included Robotics, Soft Circuits, 3D Printing, and Video Game Development. Each workshop was lead by a team of local professionals and Oregon State University students and professors. At each workshop, the participants learned the basics of the technology and made something they can take home and explore further. The participants also got a tour of HP and learned about the 3D printing technology they are developing. At the end of the event, their projects were on display for the public to see and ask questions. The event was attended by some members from the ProWorks team; senior developer Rob Birdwell and designer Alan Ballard stopped by to speak with the participants about their projects and learn about the program. (Rob, Alan and I are pictured above).
Supporting ChickTech and getting more diversity in tech in general is very important for the health of the field and the community of people in this industry. I work with ChickTech because I want young girls to see that working in tech is attainable, and that not all of it is programming all day. In addition, one nice part about this event in particular is the fact that it's just one day, which is enough time to get a taste of the topic and see what more you can do without being overwhelmed with all the new information.
In addition to programs for high school girls, ChickTech chapters run events for tech professionals, adults looking to get into the tech industry, and a local and national tech conferences for women. If you think you'd be interested in volunteering or supporting ChickTech, visit ChickTech.org to learn more and see if there's a chapter or event near you!