The inspiration for EMMA has come from many sources, but I must say that the series of Girls Make IT Days that I lead in 2015 really helped me imagine what it would be introduce making to a more diverse population by creating day long events that inspired students and teachers to explore the power of making.
Having spent over 15 years helping young women become confident with technology through annual TechSavvy Girls events, I knew that MAKING had the power to increase the confidence of women and girls with coding. With the help of two talented colleagues, Jill Dawson and Leah Joly Vermont Works for Women and the Generator I started to plan a series of workshop that would bring teachers and teen girls together for Girls Make IT days.
The Generator (Burlington's Maker Space) provided the space and the pizza, Vermont Works for Women bought the supplies and Leah, Jill, and I lead teams from 7 schools through a series of activities that built their skills and confidence with circuits and coding.
Teams of Women and Girls from
St. Albans City School
Christ the King School
Browns River School
Albert D Lawton School
Essex Middle School
Winooski Elementary School and
Williston Central School
Check out the Photo Gallery and the Girls Make IT site which includes more information and resources about our Girls Make it workshops including these slides from Day 1
Each team was asked to continue to create and share their new skills with others from their school.
Two months later, the teams were invited back to build their confidence with CODE!
(See Day 2 blog post here)
Seeing the growth in confidence with circuits and codes after just two strategically planned sessions inspired me to make this type of experience more accessible! I started to imagine ways to make this type of access to creating and making reach populations that would not traditionally find themselves walking into a makerspace -- either because they lived too far away from a makerspace or because they had not yet experienced the power of making.