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Friday, July 29, 2011
This summer, School of Information and Technology students Rondalynne McClintock and Joanne Adeyemi launched Intro2Tek, a two-day summer camp designed to develop confidence and skills around emerging technologies in middle-school girls.
Middle school is when girls often fall behind in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects. By creating a camp built around group work, social relevance, and female role models, McClintock and Adeyemi hope to reverse this trend.
“It is different from a traditional computer camp,” said Adeyemi. “We don’t focus on game design or computer programming.”
Instead, Intro2Tek – which was held July 9-10 in Rancho Cucamonga – teaches girls about areas such as Internet safety and etiquette, team building, multi-media presentations, and how to creatively use GIS (geographic information systems).
“You have to encourage girls to study technology,” says McClintock, who also owns Education Access Solutions, a company that helps students and their families find information on college admission and funding options. “Technology is everywhere, and IT can be applied to other areas. No matter what you’re doing, technology is a part of it. A background in it is essential so you don’t get left behind.”
Judging from the feedback of what McClintock and Adeyemi hope becomes an annual event, the program seems to be on the right track. One seventh grader wrote in her evaluation that “technology is fun and helpful to everyone. I would attend this camp again because it helps me to be prepared for the future.”
Due to several attendees desire for a longer camp, McClintock and Adeyemi plan to extend the activities and expand to three cities next year.
Intro2Tek is primarily funded by the camp’s founders and volunteers. The camp has also received operational support from SISAT and valuable direction from Brian Hilton, the students’ faculty advisor. Additionally, SISAT student Yoomi Lee volunteered to teach at the camp. The National College Resources Foundation and Esri both donated t-shirts and bags. Local Assemblyman Mike Morrell also gave a brief talk and presented certificates to the campers and volunteers.
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