The University of Illinois Springfield's Computer Science Department hosted
two days of fun exploring technology for middle schoolers
during Girl Tech 2012.
Females entering 7th, 8th or 9th grade were invited to
participate in a variety of hands-on activities, such as
scrap-booking with iPad, "Scratch" programming, and more.
"Girl Tech is designed to teach them there is a lot of
software out there that is tremendous fun," said Mary Sheila
Tracy, camp coordinator and UIS Computer Science instructor.
"This fun software is easy enough with a little instruction
they can learn to use it themselves and create all kinds of
Studies show the number of women in higher education in
computer science is falling drastically. Girl Tech is geared
toward girls in middle school because interest seems to start
decreasing around that age.
"It seems like most of the people who are inventors and
create technology are men, so there do need to be more
women," said Elsie A., an eighth grade participant.
New programs this year included "Starring YOU!" where girls
were able to record short videos and insert themselves into
their favorite movie clips and "What's to Eat?" where girls
looked at technology in the kitchen by making snacks using
"You get to learn new things that you probably wouldn't do in
a normal classroom," said Katie C., a seventh grade
Tracy hopes the girls leave the two-day camp with a new found
respect for technology and the drive to keep learning.