Girl Power! Empowerment Through Technology
The world of technology is growing at an extremely rapid pace. We see it every day in our lives: cell phones, computers, watches, cars and pretty much anything we can get our hands on. Although most girls in Canada have had some experience using technology, they aren’t well represented in fields of technology and science, especially when it comes to the senior levels in an organization. Even though there are more opportunities to go into new fields, a lot of women are still staying with traditional jobs such as nursing and teaching. It is generally believed that young women are hesitant to enter into industries of technology because they don’t have confidence in their capabilities. In order to develop that confidence, we must encourage and inspire girls and give them more opportunities to work with technology at a young age.
How did it all begin?
When I was in grade nine, I took a mini-enrichment course on nanotechnology. Looking around the class, I realized that out of close to thirty people, only four of us were girls – the other twenty-six students were boys. I was surprised! I knew something needed to be done about this. I have always loved technology and this made me realize how important it is to share my passion with other girls. I wanted to connect with them to share our skills and experiences so that together we could take part in this growing industry of the future.
Journey to Inspire
My interest and love for technology grew as I got more involved in workshops at my high school. From my first experience working with Scratch and Micro bits, I discovered how much I enjoyed working with technology. Then, every time there was an opportunity to work with technology, I would take it; learning more and helping others throughout the process:
My first experience helping to lead a workshop was when I taught my former elementary school teachers how to use Office 365. It was an interesting role reversal – I was teaching my teachers! I showed them how to use Onenote and different apps in Office 365. This in turn has provided teachers with the knowledge to use this technology to help their students at school.
I was also one of the students from my school selected to lead a workshop in Scratch and Micro Bits. I went to a local school where they were holding a number of tech workshops open to the general public. I had a great time sharing my knowledge of Scratch and Micro Bits with people in the community and connecting with others who were holding their own tech workshops in the school.
During one of the workshops, I was informed about Canada Learning Code’s Teen Ambassador Program and I immediately applied for this position. This would be an opportunity to help others as well as further develop my leadership skills and understanding of technology. As a Teen Ambassador, I am excited to continue encouraging and inspiring other girls, helping them discover their own passion for technology like I have.
The Importance of Becoming a Teen Ambassador
The Teen Ambassador Program is working to get more teens who are underrepresented in the tech industry more involved with tech education. They offer a variety of resources to help teen girls become more confident working with technology. When I heard about this program from my teacher, I thought it was a great idea! I really wanted to lead by example and encourage girls to see the value of technology and find their own passion for it. Working with technology is so fun and exciting! It’s a chance to work together in groups to solve problems and be creative, with no limit to our imaginations. There is no better feeling than solving problems and overcoming challenges together, like pieces completing a puzzle. I can’t wait to continue my journey as Teen Ambassador. I’m excited to start up a new tech club at my school and to learn more about technology from the upcoming webinar sessions.
Guest blog post by Charlotte, an enthusiastic Canada Learning Code Teen Ambassador from Perth, Ontario. Charlotte is a fifteen-year-old high school student who enjoys volunteering in her community and helping out in various school clubs such as the Tech Club and Best Buddies (helping special needs students develop friendships). She is also a member of her high school’s symphonic band, playing the trumpet in many school concerts. Charlotte is an avid reader, with a love of books and comics. She likes to be very active and has been playing hockey and soccer for over six years. Her favourite subject in school is Science and she hopes to pursue a future career path in technology.
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