Local AAUW Branches, High Point, Greensboro and Winston-Salem and the Girl Scouts – Tarheel Triad Council, Inc., have created a partnership to pilot “IT TECHS.” The purpose of the project is to encourage high school girls to not only become aware of careers in Information Technology (IT), but to do directed “hands on” skill building activities. The project will be open to girls who reside in the Piedmont-Triad area. The sessions will be from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon for 8 weeks (on alternate Saturdays beginning in October 2008). Advanced classes will be available for those who qualify, culminating in competition in May 2009. Sessions will be directed by the Black Data Processing Associates of Charlotte (BDPA) which is composed of IT managers, executives, consultants, web developers, and programmers.
BDPA will provide instructors and train program participants and local AAUW volunteers. The program will expose the girls to computer concepts and give them the expertise to develop web applications. Participants will be offered a variety of skill building activities (beyond the basics taught in the public school system) and they will have direct contact with IT Professionals; thereby confirming STEM/IT majors in the real world. BDPA will be giving instructions to participants from a number of locations throughout the Triad via web cast. Local AAUW volunteers will be available to help steer the youth through the classes.
Assessment and evaluation will be achieved through informal observation and discussion with participants, informal discussion with program staff and volunteers, formalized participant interviews, and formalized data collection with program staff and volunteers.
Partial funding has been received from AAUW NC.