ut honestly girls always have. This year Hillsboro High School had its second annual Girls Get IT! summer camp—and it’s definitely grown a lot, which just goes to show you how many girls are in to technology, engineering and computer science.
Over 110 girls from middle to high school ages attended, compared to last year’s smaller turnout of 40 (last year there was just one week-long camp offered, this year they had three). And often, when people think of science and technology, they think of it as boring and not very social. But girls were hanging out, listening to whatever loud music they wanted to put on, and generally having a great time, while still having a blast with their projects.
But one of our favorite things was the swag. All of the girls got their own t-shirts, and decorated their own safety glasses with glitter or whatever they wanted. And the fact that everyone was there with the same goal meant everyone enjoyed a friendly setting where girls could focus on learning and having fun, not worrying about potentially unfriendly people.
Girls who attended participated in several activities which integrated things like jewelry, chocolate cake and games with technology-themes like binary, programming and engineering. On the day we visited, we had the chance to see a couple fun ones: the human calculator and electronic bling.
In the human calculator event, girls stood on a giant mat and played the parts of a computer chip’s logic gates, which send specific data based on their inputs. In a hilariously complex and fun version of telephone, the girls sent data and added numbers, checking their results with the expected outcome.
Electronic bling is about exactly what it sounds like. Girls took circuit board resistors, LEDs and other parts—which the camp supplied by the spool—and made bracelets, rings, and necklaces out of them. On top of that, girls could design their own acrylic jewelry parts using CAD software called RHINO 3D, get the pieces custom-cut, and use them in their projects as well. When they were done, they got to model their creations for the class on a projector—an IT modeling runway.
On the other four days of the camp, girls did similar projects related to computer programming, robotics, hardware and computers—doing things like building a computer from scratch, making one-minute chocolate cake using power tools and canned CO2, and 3D-printing cookie cutters of their own design.
Girls Get IT! was, just like last year, an awesome event for girls to get into science and technology—or even just try something new out—without worrying about anyone making things feel unfriendly or awkward. We’ll see it again next year and, if you’ll be in middle or high school next year, we really think you should check it out and sign up. It’s a great place to see how technology, engineering and computer science are big parts of your life, and a great place to make new friends.