If you know a high school girl interested in tech — or you want to support young women in STEM — then heads up: ChickTech is coming to Central Oregon. The national nonprofit is running two weekend-long events for high school students. The first is in Bend on Feb. 2nd and 3rd, and the second in Madras on March 1st and 2nd.
All workshops are hands-on and project-based so that participants come out of each with a sense of accomplishment and a burst of confidence. Workshops include game development, app dev, web programming, and alternative energy. Our program provides a fun, positive learning experience designed to build participants’ confidence in their technical abilities, give them positive role models, create connections with other young women from the Central Oregon area, and create a positive association with technology creation.
The Bend workshop will be at OSU-Cascades. It’s the nonprofit’s first event in Central Oregon, and ChickTech aims to have 75 young women attend. The weekend doesn’t cost participants anything and includes food, transportation, supplies, and even lodging for those coming from Eastern Oregon. Fifty students have already signed up, and there’s still time to register.
The workshop culminates with a show on Saturday evening that gives the girls a chance to show off what they’ve created. You can attend and cheer them on. That event is also free, though ChickTech asks that people sign up.
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A crucial aspect of our program is finding young women who would not otherwise have thought of themselves as capable of succeeding in a high tech career. Many of you have seen young women not reach their potential in STEM because they thought it was too difficult—or do not have any role models in the field.
Local volunteer instructors will lead various workshops. The nonprofit has been raising funds from the community to support the event–and they’re still in need. The Bend event is more expensive, due to the distances some of the students are traveling. There’s at least a few participants coming from Ontario! Companies interested in helping the event can reach out to [email protected] or check out this donation page.