ChickTech: High School Microcontroller Workshop at PSU.
Photo by Todd Kulesza.
When CTL heard about ChickTech, a Portland, Oregon organization dedicated to providing fun, hands-on opportunities for girls and women to get engaged with technology, we wanted help support their mission. CTL COO Erik Stromquist recently met with ChickTech founder and program manager Janice Levenhagen-Seeley and signed on as a partner to host an intern this summer. One of ChickTech’s high school program participants will spend July working side by side with a mentor in the CTL production department to help meet customer specifications, production deadlines, and work in a high output (FUN) environment.
ChickTech is dedicated to retaining women in the technology workforce and increasing the number of girls pursuing technology-based careers by facilitating hands-on technology-centric events to empower, support, and increase the confidence of women and girls. Through their workshops and activities, they build community, empower participants to see themselves as leaders, and provide networking and mentoring opportunities in the rapidly growing high tech industry.
Their ChickTech: High School program is created to show high school girls that engineering can be fun and exciting. The event is held over two days and offers several workshops for the girls to choose from. Afterwards, they can attend follow-up sessions, a career/resume workshop, and explore mentoring and internship possibilities. Their inaugural event was held January 26-27, 2013 at Portland State University, where 99 girls worked with new friends and mentors to build robots, smartphone apps, computers, microcontrollers, and more! At the end of the weekend, the participants were able to show off what they created to friends and family at a “Tech Show.”
The ChickTech: High School internship program is a great way to positively affect the career outcome of the young women involved by allowing them to get hands-on experience, help them feel comfortable in a technical environment and provide them with supportive role models and support. The interns will focus on learning tech skills and will be chosen on potential, not on previous knowledge. In this way, girls whose parents could not afford extra activities and classes to introduce them to technology will have the opportunity to get hands-on training in a professional environment.
The internship application process is currently underway, and CTL will choose their intern by May 1. As a requirement for the internship, the selected candidate will keep a detailed weekly journal about her work experience. We’re confident that she will have a lot of exciting things to write about!
CTL would like to help ChickTech achieve their goals by getting more young women interested in technology careers. Did you know that reducing female attrition in science, engineering and technology by just 25% would add 220,000 people to the talent pool? This can lead to a stronger workforce, lower attrition costs, increased innovation, greater financial gain and products that reflect the consumer base. To learn more about ChickTech, click here.