Monday, March 16, 2015

Day 74 Kyun_Kun designs Robots as a Fashion Statement

The most inspirational part of my day today at SxSw Interactive was meeting Kyun_kun, a student of mechanical engineer Tokyo Denki University. Kyun_Kun is a fashion creator that works with the intersection of fashion and robotics.

Kyun_kun started making robots when she was 10 years old. Her first robot was created from a kit and moved towards her as she clapped. By the time she was 18 she was designing her own robots.

At SxSw she was demonstrating her latest design Metcalf ver3 (a wearable robot designed as a fashion item)  Although these robots are specifically designed as fashion statements,  one of her goals is to also create wearables that merge healthcare with fashion.

At first glance you might think that Kyun_kun was the model for a Japanese high tech company, but after a few minutes of conversation (through her translator) you quickly learned that she is the brains behind this beautiful and SMART fashion statement.

She described her process for the design she was modeling today which included an Arduino and motor shield that controlled 4 stepping motors embedded  in her costume that had two extra arms extending from her shoulders.  

What an inspiration for your young women interested in making things beautiful and smart. 






Check out this YouTube video to see how she combines  Metal processing, electronic tools, dressmaking. 





kyunkun.nomaki.jp



Sunday, March 15, 2015

Day 73 SxSw Session: Can Fandoms Fix Tech Gender Gaps

Day 73  SxSw Session:  Can Fandoms Fix Tech Gender Gaps


There were so many conflicting times for sessions today it was difficult to select the one I wanted to go to this morning at SxSw Interactive. I ended up selecting Jessica McDonalds session “Can Fandoms Fix Tech's Gender Gap? “ because it referenced an area I knew nothing about “Fandoms”

Having been tuned into Girls and Technology for over 15 years,  its easy to end up in an echo chamber where lots of us who are interested in this topic explore the same issues and offer the same strategies over and over. The title of Jessica’s session offered a potential strategy I had not heard yet.

Jessica McDonald’s session was a mixture of statistics you have seen on the TechSavvy Girls blog before, personal stories, passion, and data from a recent survey she conducted by reaching out to girls interested in Fandom. The first thing I had do do was look up Fandoms.

From Wikipedia 

“Fandom (a portmanteau consisting of fan [fanatic] plus the suffix -dom, as in kingdom) is a term used to refer to a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of empathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest. Fans typically are interested in even minor details of the object(s) of their fandom and spend a significant portion of their time and energy involved with their interest, often as a part of a social network with particular practices (a fandom); this is what differentiates "fannish" (fandom-affiliated) fans from those with only a casual interest.
A fandom can grow up centered on any area of human interest or activity. The subject of fan interest can be narrowly defined, focused on something like an individual celebrity, or more widely defined, encompassing entire hobbies, genresor fashions.”

Jessica noted that many female fans are avid users of Tumbler and through their use of Tumblr have have actually become quite tech savvy.  Yet,  their answers on the Jessica’s survey reflected that 37% of them lacked confidence in their technology skills and 28% of them didn’t know how to go for help with technology question.


From the data collected, Jessica has isolated two barriers that we have the power to fix

#1 The Confidence issue

        37% I don’t know and don’t think I can learn

#2 Not knowing where to go for help

        28% I don’t know where to go for help


This summer, her company, Spark Fun will be piloting a Pop Culture Hack Camp  where 20 girls will spend one week experiencing a hacking culture followed up by mentoring program.


I think this is BRILLIANT There are plenty of “send your daughter to camp” opportunities. There are tech savvy women who are very interested in mentoring younger girls. How brilliant it is to connect these two concepts.

I was unable to find information about where you can apply, yet, but promise that I will post the info on this blog as soon as find the information.


Great job, Jessica McDonald on not only compiling and sharing research, but also on taking action and be willing to pilot a solution.


Although TechSavvy Girls Summer Camps have offered a one day mentoring opportunity to girls during our Power Lunch with Women in Technology, this might be something worth looking into.










Saturday, March 14, 2015

Day 72 Smart Women Make Things Smart and Make Them Beautiful

Yesterday I posted pictures of the ATX space at SxSw Create with little commentary.  If you had the same lense on as I did you noticed the lack of women in that space.  With the exception of a college girl on a team of 4 sharing their research,  there was ONE female MAKER in that space!  ONE!

Meet Andrea Rust -- the one female maker at the ATX space at SxSw!



But that is NOT why I stopped at her table.  I stopped because her work was absolutely beautiful.   But it was not only BEAUTIFUL  it was one of the SMARTEST and GEEKIEST pieces out there.

At first glance,  it looked like Andrea was making beautiful lamps with acrylic cut from a laser cutter. It was not until she started telling us about her beautiful lamps that I was blown away by how smart she was and how smart (and geeky) her design was.




Let me let Andrea TELL you herself!




I've asked Andrea if she would like to video conference with the girls at a future Tech Savvy Girls event,  and she agreed.  I can't wait to introduce this amazing role model to you this summer.  Meanwhile you can see her amazing work at www.prettysmarthomes.com



Friday, March 13, 2015

Day 71 ATX Hackerspace at SxSW Create


My favorite part of SxSw last year and this year was the SxSw Create Event which is free and open to the public.  I can't wait to share everything I learned there this year.  But before I get into all the good stuff.. I must share my first impression as I walked in to the SxSw Create Area run by by Austin's  ATX Hackerspace  I'm going to leave this as pictures only *except for this intro paragraph.  Let's see if you notice what I notice.... I'll write more tomorrow.

























Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Day 69: Learn to Weld from a Ten Year Old Girl



Women,  Welding, and Wine  
hmmm those are three words you don't often see together.    And as you keep reading the description to the workshop announcement Project H Website  you'll certainly take a second look as your read....



"Ladies, come learn how to weld like a 10-year-old girl… Over the course of this 3 hour workshop, our executive director Emily Pilloton, program manager Rebecca Beamer, and four of our all-star Camp H alumnae girls (ages 9-12) will teach you the basics of MIG welding and working with dimensional steel stock."


Well,  I might not have believed it myself if I had not just spend an hour listening to Emily Pilloton tell the story of Project H at today's SxSwEDU closing session.





Emily's story (starting with her first crush... MacGuyver)  captured the audience today at SxSwEDU in Austin Texas.  It is an incredible story of a female architect who wanted to change the way we design and build.   As cofounder and executive director of Project H, she has done just that.

Project H is an in school design and building class which started in North Carolina that has recently moved to Berkeley where students use their core subjects to build projects that impact the world around them.  According to their website, they have built "farmers market pavilion, a pop-up park, laser-etched skateboards, sculptural concrete public furniture, roadside farmstands, and more. Through experimentation, non-stop production, tinkering, and a lot of dirt under their fingernails, students develop the creative capital, critical thinking, and citizenship necessary for their own success and for the future of their communities."

Watching  Emily's Ted Talk will give you a taste of her passion and her work.  A recent documentary "If you Build It"  will give you a chance to look even deeper into the impact of her work. 





I was not the only one who was inspired by Emily Pilliton this afternoon.  Great choice SxSwEDU!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Day 68: St. Albans girls share their learning

Thank you to two very TechSavvy Girls for sharing the article they wrote for their local newspaper about their experience at our Girls Make IT Day.




Sending a press release about the learning you do is just one more way to making sure that girls are in the picture of high tech activities in your community.  Building your communication skills is one of the many benefits of having girls write press releases and share their experiences with their community.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Day 67: Where are the Girls (and Women)? At SxSw EDU


After returning from walking around the Austin Convention Center for my first day of SxSwEDU 2015,  I can literally say I'm too tired to write.  My brain has been working overtime.  The creative portion of my being is overstimulated already.  And my heart and soul are feel pleased that the topic of women and girls has once again become part of the conversation as we talk about about tech,  the future and innovation in education.  

Here is a sneak preview of the some of the sessions where we'll be talking about women and girls in technology, innovation, and more.   Can't wait to digest.. I'll write more in the morning.



Education Expo
Austin Convention Center
EH4 - STEM Pavilion
Tuesday, March 10
3:15PM - 4:15PM
Education Expo
Austin Convention Center
Exhibit Hall 4 - NEXT Stage
Tuesday, March 10
5:30PM - 6:00PM
Empowering Girls and Women to Lead 
Caroline Howard, Shiza Shahid
Featured Session
Leadership & Empowerment
Austin Convention Center
Room 18ABCD
Thursday, March 12
9:00AM - 10:00AM
Playground Talk
DIY, Maker & Hacker
Austin Convention Center
Ballroom EFG
Monday, March 9
1:30PM - 2:00PM
You Go (Far), Girl! Inspiring Girls in STEM
Adele Falco, Jackie Bastardi


Big Dream
Kelly Cox, Meredith Walker, Rane Johnson-Stempson, Tricia Berry



Women Disruptors 2.0

Betsy Corcoran, Deborah Quazzo, Lynda Weinman, Vicki Abeles
Panel Discussion
Leadership & Empowerment
Hilton Austin Downtown
Salon K
Monday, March 9
1:30PM - 2:30PM
Paying it Forward: Leveraging Today’s Female Voice
Julie Evans, Kari Stubbs PhD, Kecia Ray, Mila Thomas Fuller
Panel Discussion
Leadership & Empowerment
Austin Convention Center
Room 12AB
Tuesday, March 10
3:00PM - 4:00PM
Empowering Girls and Women to Lead 
Caroline Howard, Shiza Shahid
Featured Session
Leadership & Empowerment
Austin Convention Center
Room 18ABCD
Thursday, March 12
9:00AM - 10:00AM
Digital Diversity: Minority Women in EdTech
Cori Coburn-Shiflett, Rafranz Davis, Sarah Thomas, Shelly Sanchez Terrell
Panel Discussion
Achievement Gaps & Educational Equality
Austin Convention Center
Room 12AB
Tuesday, March 10
12:00PM - 1:00PM
You Go (Far), Girl! Inspiring Girls in STEM
Adele Falco, Jackie Bastardi
Playground Talk
Leadership & Empowerment
Austin Convention Center
Ballroom EFG
Wednesday, March 11
11:30AM - 12:00PM


Women Disruptors 2.0

Betsy Corcoran, Deborah Quazzo, Lynda Weinman, Vicki Abeles
Panel Discussion
Leadership & Empowerment
Hilton Austin Downtown
Salon K
Monday, March 9
1:30PM - 2:30PM
Big Dream
Kelly Cox, Meredith Walker, Rane Johnson-Stempson, Tricia Berry
eduFILM
Leadership & Empowerment
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
Theater 2
Monday, March 9
1:30PM - 3:30PM
Playground Talk
DIY, Maker & Hacker
Austin Convention Center
Ballroom EFG
Monday, March 9
1:30PM - 2:00PM
Future15
Instructional Strategies & Best Practices
Austin Convention Center
Room 15
Monday, March 9
2:00PM - 2:15PM


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Day 66: Telling our girls that "The World has a hole in it that is shaped just like you! "


Loved the advice that Tara Sophia Mohr offers in this short video to our young women. 


"In fact, the world has a hole in it that is shaped exactly like them, and only by sharing their own voice and bringing their unique gifts into the world will that hole be filled."


I totally agree that it is our young people who hold the key to changing the world for the better.  How do we help them find that power?  We need to stop thinking of them as rebellious teens.  We need to help them confront and move pass their self-doubt and silence their inner critic.  We need to help to convince our young people that the world needs them.






You can read more about Tara's advice for those of us mentoring young women in this article from BigThink. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Day 65: Teach a Girl a New Skill and Watch it Multiply

It's always great when you get a message like this after a tech girls event.

From Essex Middle School after our Girls Make IT day on January 30 2015
www.GirlsMakeIT.org


Hi Lucie and Jill.  I have followed through with my two tech ​prodigies.  We met a few times over the past week to finish our book cover projects, and to smooth out our presentation to 12 students from their 7th grade team.  I just wanted you to know that your outreach went even farther!  The following three photos show our two girls leading a group activity to 12 other classmates.      ~  Anne  (Essex Middle School) 

Of course I wrote back and said.. tell me more!  Here is the rest of the story


Girls Make IT team from Essex Middle School took their 

Maya and Grace, 7th graders from the Phoenix team at Essex Middle School, participated in the Girls MakeIT workshop on January 30th at the Generator Space in Burlington.

The next week (Feb 2-6), Maya and Grace met to finish their book cover LED project and to plan a project to share with their class.






On February 10th, Maya and Grace modeled and presented the switch book project to a group of 12 eager, new classmates. 













Each team of two students followed Maya and Grace's instructions to assemble the switch using copper tape, LEDs, batteries, and mini books (preassembled by the girls).  Time passed quickly during the hands-on demo, so they group agreed to reassemble next Tuesday, February 17th to put the final touches the project!






So the learning continues... and two girls become leaders among their peers in the Girls Make IT movement!








Friday, March 6, 2015

Day 64: Announcing Girls Make IT Day Session 2 - Make With Code

So excited to announce our next

Girls Make IT Day 

Session 2
MAKE with CODE

March 24, 2015  8:30 - 2:30


Location: Generator 
250 Main Street, Memorial Auditorium Annex, 
Burlington, Vermont

Bring a Team from YOUR School!


We're looking for three person teams comprised of two middle school girls and one educator/mentor who would like to learn to code e-Textile creations.

AGENDA

8:00     Registration & Tech Setup
8:30     Welcome and Share
9:00     Wire Your Flowers
9:30     Introduction to Arduino /Code  Environment (Blink)
10:00   Sequences & Patterns
10:30   Functions & Methods
11:00   IF/ Then Statement ~ Fading Effects
11:30   FOR Loops - Cascading Lighting Effects
12:00   Lunch & Share ~ Bring a Bag Lunch
12:30   Connecting the Dots ~ Next Steps
1:00    Option 1:  Start an Online Coding Class
Option 2:  Project Time
2:00     Exit Card/ Reflection

This event has prerequisites and tiered tuition options.  Space is limited.
See Website for details. wwwGirlsMakeIT.org/Session2  

Prerequisites

  1. Each member of the team must have at least a basic understanding of how LEDs and batteries can be used in crafts and e-Textile projects, as well as prior experience creating simple circuits. This experience can have been a school project using conductive material to create a circuit, an independent project, or a project from Girls Make IT Session 1.

  1. Grade 7-8 is preferred. Younger middle school girls with an aptitude for mathematics and interest in learning to code are welcomed, however.
  2. Each team should bring one Laptop with Arduino Software and Drivers installed. Make sure you have administrator access to install additional drivers if necessary.  If you are unable to do this ahead of time, we can help you do this from 8 - 8:30 am.  
    Please follow instructions for both the Arduino software AND the FTDI drivers found here.  https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/how-to-install-ftdi-drivers
  3. Each member should bring two flower models that they have created from origami or other craft materials prior to attending. There are many EASY origami flower tutorials online.  Here are some suggestions for your flower models.

    You will use your flower models during the day to learn to code.
    These flowers may be made from paper, plastic, fabric, or other non-conductive materials, but they should be designed to incorporate an LED in the center that will be powered by a coin cell battery.  Please DO not attach the LEDs to the batteries in your models, but bring the LED and  battery along so that you may demonstrate how your flowers would work.   We will be using one flower for our first coding project, which you will take home.  You will be coding and contributing the second one to a Group Project -- A Collaborative Garden Traveling Exhibit. This concept was inspired by the following MIT Coding Flower Garden.



Lunch
To keep the cost down, we have chosen the Bring Your Own Lunch format.  Bring a bag lunch and a water bottle.

Choose from Tiered Tuition Options:

  • Option 1 Make with Code:  Tuition $5 per person ($15 per team)
Each participant learns to code and leaves with a new experience. Although you will need to return the Arduino at the end of the day, you will leave with a new understanding of coding and eTextiles and have been a part of creating an awesome collaborative flower garden that will be a traveling exhibits.
  • Option 2 Make with Code Professional Development:  Tuition & Take Home Kit ($80 per team)
This is the preferred option if you and your group plans to CONTINUE learning to Make With CODE beyond this event.  This option provides the educator with one day of Professional development, tuition for two students, and includes supplies valued over $100 including but not limited to:


Instructors:
Lucie deLaBruere
Jill Dawson
Leah Joly

Make Checks Payable to Generator
Generator
 250 Main Street, Memorial Auditorium Annex, 
Burlington, Vermont


Participants will be invited to join us for additional workshops in the Circuits and Code Series (a combination of online and face-to-face learning opportunities geared toward learning more about circuits and coding).  


For additional info:

Lucie deLaBruere lucie@techsavvygirls.com
Rachel Hopper at educator@generatorvt.org  
802 557 0013

Registration and information at   http://www.girlsmakeit.org/p/session2.html

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Day 63: title nine


Those  of you are are following my Living Learning Mobile adventures know that we've arrived in Austin, Texas and are looking forward to attending SxSw EDU and SxSw Interactive this month.  On our walk back from Whole Foods yesterday,  we walked by a shop that caught my attention.  The shop was named title nine.    I started wondering how many people connected with this shop's name as they walked by.

We had two armfuls of groceries so we didn't go in, yet, but I checked them out online and loved  this image on their website.  It's subtle and says so much.


Upon further exploration of their website I was not surprised to read about their models  and their sustainability mission.   It's so Austin... and one of the reasons we love Austin. 



But I was surprised that their page called What is Title IX was limited in its interpretation of Title IX. 

Most people who are familiar with Title IX don't know that the 1972 legislation had very little mention of athletics.  The focus of the original 1972 legislation was on the employment practices of college and universities.    Although Title IX has positively contributed to equal opportunities for women in athletics,  it has made an impact on the lives of women and girls in so many areas.  

Take a minute to learn more about the  many different areas that Title IX has impacted our lives.  

Many people have never heard of Title IX. Most people who know about Title IX think it applies only to sports, but athletics is only one of 10 key areas addressed by the law. These areas are: Access to Higher Education, Career Education, Education for Pregnant and Parenting Students, Employment, Learning Environment, Math and Science, Sexual Harassment, Standardized Testing and Technology.  http://www.titleix.info/


Probably one of the best accounts of the history of Title IX I have heard was straight from the mouth of Dr. Bernice Sandler at at talk she gave at Darmouth.  I have frequently quoted "from memory"  some of the stories that  the Grandmother of Title IX shared about the birth and journey of Title IX.   Walking by this store today brought back memories of an evening in 2002 sitting in awe that it had only been 30 years since the the the birth of  IX and how much has changed in such a short period of time. In getting ready for this blog post today,  I was lucky enough to find an article written by Bernice Sandler which is almost as good at listening to her tell the story herself.   

One of the most interesting parts of her story was how the strategic silence of women helped give women an even stronger voice. 

As the bill drew close to passage,  a group of women (including myself) who represented women's organizations,  met with Rep. Green to offer our lobbying services.  She informed us that it would be better it we did not lobby because there was no opposition to the bill, and the less that people knew about the bill, the better its chances were for passage.  We were skeptical, but she was absolutely right.   
In the spring of 1972, two years after the hearings, a portion of Rep. Green's original bill became law when Title VII of the Civil Rights Act was amended by Congress in a separate action to cover all employees in educational institutions.   Initially, Rep. Green  had also initially sought to amend Title VI of the Civil Rights Act ( prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color and national origin in all federally-funded activities) to include sex discrimination.  However,  at the urging of African-American leaders and others, who were worried that opening Title VI for amendment could weaken its coverage, she proposed a separate and new title, which became Title IX.  In its final form, Title IX was identical to that of Title VI, except that it was restricted to educational activities,  contained additional exemptions and included the amendment to the Equal Pay Act.  On June 23, 1972,  Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, was passed by the Congress and on July 1, was signed into law by President Richard Nixon.    from "Too Strong for a Women.. The Five Words that Created Title IX"





Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Day 62: Shall We Dance? Coding and Choreography

Shaundra Dail and Alison Leonard 


An interesting approach to learning to code caught my eye today. "Movement Improves Girls Computational Thinking Skills. The article features a study funded by the National Science Foundation and emerging technology report published in journal Technology, Knowledge and Learning coauthored by Clemson professors Shaundra Dail and Alison Leonard exploring the connection between movement and learning to code.


Building computational thinking through dance makes a lot of sense to me. As a matter of fact one of the first things I ask my students to do using Scratch software is to create a Dance Party.


We all know that connecting new learning to prior knowledge is an important part of teaching. So why not take the "intuitive" knowledge of "dance" and use it to help student learning to code. According to the abstract, this is exactly the premise that the Clemson research revolves around.

This emerging technology report describes virtual environment interactions an approach for blending movement and computer programming as an embodied way to support girls in building computational thinking skills. The authors seek to understand how body syntonicity might enable young learners to bootstrap their intuitive knowledge in order to program a three-dimensional character to perform movements. We have gained insight into the desire for character realism. The lessons learned to date, as well as the challenges to integrating the physical and virtual and keeping the interactions rich are discussed.   ~ Journal Asbstract  for Technology, Knowledge and Learning

It appears that the concept originally used the popular program ALICE  but is now focused on a new environment called VENVI  that lets you control a virtual character using code.  




 From the VENVI website:  

Clemson University will design, develop, and evaluate a virtual environment and associated curriculum for blending movement and computer programming as a novel and embodied way to engage 5th- and 6th-grade girls with computational thinking. This research will test the hypothesis that girls creating interactive movement for their virtual characters and using their bodies to think through the actuation of the characters should bootstrap their intuitive knowledge in order to learn computational concepts, utilize computational practices, and develop computational perspectives.

Unfortunately, it does not appear to be quite ready for us to try.  As of this writing, the links  on the downloads page were all inactive.  But this is a project I'm going to be keeping an eye on.