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2017 Aspire IT ("IT is for Girls/Women") Summer Camp

University Libraries’ Digital Media Commons (DMC) partnered with the Aspire IT (“IT is for Girls/Women”) Summer Camp, a Women In Information Technology (WIIT) initiative and AAUW Greensboro during the week of July 24 through July 28 to encourage middle school girls to pursue paths and careers relevant to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields and build leadership, teamwork and collaboration skills.   

While the camp offered students insight into the many aspects of IT, it also included talks from women in various STEM fields, demonstrations in 3D printing, robotics and a visit to Analog Devices in Greensboro. The camp, led by Dr. Lakshmi Iyer, UNCG Associate Professor and Director of Information Systems and Supply Chain Management Graduate Programs, began in 2009. This year, the camp hosted four sessions for 68 middle schoolers and 22 high school/college mentors. The workshops included app development, robotics, filmography and creating Arduino/Makey-Makey style gadgets. 

WIIT strives to increase awareness of girls (in K-12 and higher education) and women about IT/computing education/career opportunities and provide educational support for women to advance in the IT field. While women represent about 58% of the total workforce, the under-representation of women in computing continues to be a concern as studies show that only 25% of computing jobs in the U.S. are held by women. Information technology job prospects are growing significantly (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014) and women are losing out in opportunities in the IT field (Women in IT Website, 2017). 

Highlights of this year’s Aspire IT (“IT is for Girls/Women”) Summer Camp culminated with a presentation of video projects to students, mentors and parents. A special thanks to Film Festival Leads Dr. Aprille Black, Instructional Technology Consultant/Lecturer at UNCG, and Dr. Maureen Allen, Adjunct Instructor in Management at Elon University. Digital Media Commons’ faculty, staff and student employees facilitated the planning, filming and editing of the videos. Alyssa Wharton, University Libraries’ Digital Media Technician in the DMC, has been slated for the 2018 Film Festival Session Lead next year. 


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