#ARKidsCanCode: Girls Coding Summit Success

#ARKidsCanCode - 150 girls from 40 schools across the state participate in WFA Girls of Promise Coding Summit. Photo by Amanda Potter Cole

#ARKidsCanCode – 150 girls from 40 schools across the state participate in WFA Girls of Promise Coding Summit. Photo by Amanda Potter Cole

For Immediate Release December 9, 2015

Contact: Cindy Thornton
Email: cthornton@womensfoundationarkansas.org
Phone: 501-244-9744

WFA Girls of Promise® Tech Summit at Governor’s Mansion attended by 150 Arkansas girls from 40 schools.

(Little Rock, Ark.) – The Women’s Foundation of Arkansas sponsored the first Girls of Promise® Coding Summit at the Governor’s Mansion today as part of the #ARKidsCanCode initiative. The summit was attended by more than 150 6th through 12th grade girls from 40 schools across the state Arkansas. Katherine Prewitt, the President of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas, welcomed the crowd of girls, chaperones, and champions, sharing that the Women’s Foundation’s mission is to engage people to promote women and girls in Arkansas, so they can realize and achieve their full potential. “The Girls of Promise® Coding Summit,” Katherine stated, “exemplifies the WFA mission.”

#ARKidsCanCode - 150 girls from 40 schools across the state participate in WFA Girls of Promise Coding Summit. Photo by Amanda Potter Cole

Girls learn JavaScript through the Code.org Star Wars coding module at the #ARKidsCanCode: Girls of Promise Coding Summit. Photo by Amanda Potter Cole

The emcee for the event was Representative Warwick Sabin. Mr. Sabin, an Arkansas Representative and the Executive Director of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, said “this is my favorite part of my job – working with the youth of Arkansas to encourage them to become engaged in technology.” Sabin shared his hopes for the upcoming generation to not even consider the concept of limiting one’s educational or career dreams because of one’s gender.

Governor Asa Hutchinson and his wife Susan were present to welcome the girls to the event. The Governor spoke about his bi-partisan initiative to require computer science in all high schools in Arkansas, the first in the nation – and passed during the last General Assembly. He also encouraged the young women to seriously consider pursuing technical professions in the future because they are high paying jobs, which would benefit not only themselves but also their communities.

#ARKidsCanCode - 150 girls from 40 schools across the state participate in WFA Girls of Promise Coding Summit. Photo by Amanda Potter Cole

Girls working as a team to problem solve through a JavaScript challenge. Photo by Amanda Potter Cole

Code.Org COO, Cameron Wilson, presented Little Rock School District’s Western Hills Elementary School principal Teresa Richardson and teacher Sarah burns, Arkansas winner of the Code.org contest, with a $10,000 check to pay for computer equipment for one classroom. Code.Org also provided an inspiring video on the importance of women and girls learning to code and their Star Wars module was used by the girls during the hands-on coding lesson.

The Girls of Promise® Coding Summit also served as the launch of WFA’s Girls of Promise® Tech Contest sponsored by AT&T. Jan Collier, Vice President and General Manager of Arkansas/Oklahoma AT&T Mobility, introduced the contest and explained that her organization is part of such initiatives because, while women make up 49% of the workforce overall, only 25% of the technical workforce is female. Encouraging more women and girls to become technical professionals ensures that companies like AT&T can meet their workforce needs.

#ARKidsCanCode - 150 girls from 40 schools across the state participate in WFA Girls of Promise Coding Summit. Photo by Amanda Potter Cole

Girls learn JavaScript through the Code.org Star Wars coding module at the #ARKidsCanCode: Girls of Promise Coding Summit. Photo by Amanda Potter Cole

A diverse group of women served as instructors and mentors for the “Hour of Code” portion of the event, including Sarah Daigle, Alia Borroho, Joyce Grippi, Tara Dryer, Susan Smith, and Amanda Potter Cole. Daigle kicked the coding portion of the program off by providing the girls with insights into the types of technical jobs available to women in Arkansas. She said that women in technical jobs tended to focus on solutions that help communities and individuals, which is incredibly beneficial to the overall economy and therefore the state. Borroho provided the girls with some tips and tricks to get them started, which led into the Hour of Code. More information about the mentors can be found on girlsofpromise.org/codingsummit.

The room was electric with girls actively engaged and enthusiast about coding. The setting allowed girls to huddle together to share ideas and work collaboratively to come up with solutions. The Star Wars module utilized from Code.org eased girls into the basics of building JavaScript code.

#ARKidsCanCode - 150 girls from 40 schools across the state participate in WFA Girls of Promise Coding Summit. Photo by Amanda Potter Cole

Girls learn JavaScript through the Code.org Star Wars coding module at the #ARKidsCanCode: Girls of Promise Coding Summit. Photo by Amanda Potter Cole

Amanda Potter Cole, the event Chairperson, closed the summit with instructions on how to get started on a submission for WFA’s Girls of Promise® Tech Contest. The contest, open to all 6th through 12th grade Arkansas girls, is designed to help girls “create tech for good.” Applicants will create or build upon a technical product – an app, website, computer program, 3D printer template, or anything else tech – for a philanthropic purpose. Submissions, due February 15, must either directly benefit or provide a service on behalf of a nonprofit organization, church, school or government agency. Finalists will present their submissions at the Girls of Promise® conference in Little Rock on March 10-11, 2016. Conference participants – 8th grade Arkansas girls interested in science, technology, engineering and math – will vote on the grand prize winner, who will receive an Apple MacBook Pro. The runners-up will all receive tech prizes as well. Full details are available at girlsofpromise.org/techcontest.

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The Women’s Foundation of Arkansas (WFA) is the only statewide foundation that focuses solely on women and girls in Arkansas. Their Girls of Promise® program is proven to encourage girls to continue pursuing higher-level science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses past eighth grade, with goals towards careers in these fields.

Since 1999, more than 5,000 eighth-grade girls have been introduced to women with careers in STEM fields, participated in hands-on learning activities, and met other girls passionate about learning through their participation at Girls of Promise® conferences. Learn more: girlsofpromise.org

After six years on WFA’s staff, Amanda founded AMP•SEE Ideas in order to provide freelance communications and project management services to small businesses and nonprofits. When not working, she may be found promoting livable urban design, speaking up for equality & education, wandering about with her camera, or experimenting with local foods.

#ARKidsCanCode: Coding Summit Logistics

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Location

Arkansas Governor’s Mansion – 1800 Center Street, Little Rock AR 72206 (Google Map) Enter through the front gate on Center Street. Gates will open at 9:30 am. If you arrive early and want to grab some refreshments, there are a variety of fast food options nearby on Broadway between 7th and 13th Streets.

Parking

Available on side streets around the governor’s mansion. W. 18th Street and Spring Street both have street parking.

Check-In

Begins promptly at 9:30. To expedite check-in, we ask that chaperones check-in for all of their students. Each chaperone will be given:

  • Check-in sheet that lists all her/his registered students,
  • Table numbers for each girl,
  • Certificates & flyers to be handed out AFTER the summit.
Computers

If you bring your own computers, make sure they are fully charged. Electric outlets will not be available for charging. Many of have asked whether CHROMEBOOKS will work, they will!

Loaner Computers: Chaperones will be asked to check-out and return any loaner computers used by their students. The volunteer checking you in can direct you to the computer check-out table.

Setting Up: Log-in as soon as you are seated, using the instructions on the projection screen at the front of the room. Mentors will be visiting each table and can assist anyone who is having difficulties.

Food and Drinks

Because we will have so much computer equipment around, we will not be serving food or drinks. Everyone is on your own for breakfast and lunch.

Program

We have a full program on tap and want to make sure we have as much time to code as possible. Therefore, we will ask everyone to be in their seats and ready to go by no later than 9:50 am.

Waiting List

We had a great response to our program and have many girls on our waiting list. If anyone will be unable to attend, please let us know, so we can invite others to take your place.

Thank you!

We appreciate your support for our Girls of Promise Coding Summit and are looking forward to seeing everyone on Wednesday! If you have any questions, please email us.

Event Page
After six years on WFA’s staff, Amanda founded AMP•SEE Ideas in order to provide freelance communications and project management services to small businesses and nonprofits. When not working, she may be found promoting livable urban design, speaking up for equality & education, wandering about with her camera, or experimenting with local foods.

#ARKidsCanCode: Tech & Education Champions

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Our #ARKidsCan Code: Girls of Promise® Coding Summit for 9th to 12th grade girls interested in coding is next week and the soft deadline for registration is today! Since the announcements we made last month, we wanted to introduce a few more of the technology and education champions who will be there next week:

Allia Borroho is beginning her journey as a front end engineer. She recently founded Devfluent and plans to continue introducing younger generations to the joy and excitement of computer science. Learn more at http://girlsofpromise.org/codingsummit/
Alia Borroho

Devfluent

Allia Borroho is beginning her journey as a front end engineer. She recently founded Devfluent and plans to continue introducing younger generations to the joy and excitement of computer science. Read more.

Sarah Daigle is all about girl power. She is the CEO, CTO, and founder of Currant Tech as well as a mother, step-mom, and Canadian-American. She champions women’s entrepreneurship and has been a part of programs that teach girls to code. Learn more at http://girlsofpromise.org/codingsummit/
Sarah Daigle

Currant Tech Group

Sarah Daigle is all about girl power. She is the CEO, CTO, and founder of Currant Tech as well as a mother, step-mom, and Canadian-American. She champions women’s entrepreneurship and has been a part of programs that teach girls to code. Read more.

Joyce Grippi has always been interested in tech stuff – everything from programming, web design, to how hardware is put together. Her career at Walmart culminated in their global communications and, recently, Joyce has founded Grippi Business Solutions. Learn more at http://girlsofpromise.org/codingsummit/
Joyce Grippi

Grippi Business Solutions

Joyce Grippi has always been interested in tech stuff – everything from programming, web design, to how hardware is put together. Her career at Walmart culminated in their global communications and, recently, Joyce has founded Grippi Business Solutions. Read more.

Warwick Sabin is the Executive Director of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub and he serves in the Arkansas House of Representatives. Warwick is a champion of technology education for everyone and is a long-time friend of the Women's Foundation of Arkansas. Learn more at http://girlsofpromise.org/codingsummit/
Warwick Sabin

Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub / Arkansas House of Representatives

Warwick Sabin is the Executive Director of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub and he serves in the Arkansas House of Representatives. Warwick is a champion of technology education for everyone and is a long-time friend of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas. Read more.

Amanda Potter Cole founded AMP•SEE Ideas to provide freelance communications and project management services. She is passionate about equality and education for all and works towards a world where people have the desire to learn, grow, thrive, and help others do the same. Learn more at http://girlsofpromise.org/codingsummit/
Amanda Potter Cole

AMP•SEE Ideas

Amanda Potter Cole provides freelance communications and project management services. She is passionate about equality and education for all and works towards a world where people have the desire to learn, grow, thrive, and help others do the same. Read more.

Of course, Governor Hutchinson is going to welcome everyone, Cameron Wilson, COO & VP of government affairs at Code.org, is going to announce the Arkansas school winning $10,000 worth of tehcnology, and we’ll wrap-up the event by kicking off WFA’s Girls of Promise® Tech Contest!

Today is the “soft deadline” to register, but there’s still some room left, so check out the event page to learn about our speakers, registration, and more!

Learn more & register.

 

Correction: Since original publication, we have learned that Cameron Wilson will be representing Code.org (originally posted that it was Hadi Partovi).

After six years on WFA’s staff, Amanda founded AMP•SEE Ideas in order to provide freelance communications and project management services to small businesses and nonprofits. When not working, she may be found promoting livable urban design, speaking up for equality & education, wandering about with her camera, or experimenting with local foods.

#ARKidsCanCode

GoP Coding Summit Flyer

Girls of Promise® Coding Summit

We’re excited to announce an upcoming event, #ARKidsCanCode: Girls of Promise Coding Summit, sponsored by the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas, in collaboration with the Office of the Governor and Code.org. The event will be held at the Governor’s mansion on Wednesday, December 9 from 9:30-12:00 in celebration of Computer Science Education Week.

Event Overview

We would like to invite all female 9th to 12th grade students who are interested in developing their interest in coding (limited to 5 per school) to attend this free special event. Both novices and experienced coders will enjoy the event and have an opportunity to spend time practicing the coding they learn (with plenty of experienced coders on hand to help).

Governor Hutchinson will welcome the girls, as will the CEO of Code.org, an organization dedicated expanding access to computer science, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. During the event, they will announce the Arkansas school recipient of their contest awarding $10,000 worth of technology.

After the welcome, the “Hour of Code” will begin. There will be a short tutorial to get started, followed by an hour of hands-on coding, with plenty of instructors in the room to help out. The girls are encouraged to bring their own laptops (or the school’s), but there will be a number of computers available for those who don’t have one.

We don’t want the coding to stop after this event, so as part of the event’s wrap-up we will be kicking-off a contest for all those who participate in the coding summit to develop an app, website, computer program, etc. Submissions must be sent in to the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas by February 15th. We will then choose 5-7 finalists to return to Little Rock in March to have their submissions judged by the 8th grade girls attending our annual Girls of Promise conference. The sponsor for the contest is still being finalized, but expect AWESOME prizes (think laptops, scholarship money, etc.)!

This should be a fun and informative day for all students in attendance. The deadline for responding is December 1, 2015.

Learn more & register.

After six years on WFA’s staff, Amanda founded AMP•SEE Ideas in order to provide freelance communications and project management services to small businesses and nonprofits. When not working, she may be found promoting livable urban design, speaking up for equality & education, wandering about with her camera, or experimenting with local foods.