On Feb. 29th, 2020, we had a day-long event at the University of Central Florida where we taught app development and cybersecurity to 50 girls from grades 5-10. For this event, we worked with UCF's Association for Computing Machinery's Council on Women, or ACM-W. Their members helped us teach the workshops and mentor the girls throughout the day.
In the morning, after the girls signed in, we had our first session. Half the girls went to cybersecurity, and half went to app-development. In cybersecurity, the girls learned about secure passwords, encryption and decryption methods, ciphers, and why it's so important to protect our information. In app development, they were taught the basics of apps and programming, such as buttons, labels, image manipulation, variables, user-input, and concatenation. They later switched to the other session.
After, we had lunch (sponsored by Lazy Moon!). Then, our guest speakers came to discuss their careers as successful women in tech. Our first guest speaker, Ms. Shrare Zehtabian, a UCF PhD student doing research with machine learning and assistive technology, talked about her work with AI. She showed us a video demo of one of her research projects, in which she was able to interact and have a conversation with an AI-based figure. Our second guest speaker, Ms. Caeley Looney, talked about her career as an aerospace engineer. She is also the founder of the Reinvented Magazine, which is the first print magazine of women in science. The girls received copies of her magazine, which they were very excited about! We are so thankful for our guest speakers as they gave the girls a new perspective on careers in the tech field, which helped them understand how diverse and unique the field is.
Our event could not have run so smoothly without all the lovely businesses, organizations, and individuals who helped us. We are so grateful for UCF's ACM-W, Lazy Moon Pizza, Riptide Software, Grata Software, The Walmart Foundation, Caeley Looney, and Sharare Zehtabian for showing their support for women in tech.
Check out our pictures below! A very special thank you to Mr. Pete Wilson for taking these photos for CoderChicks and supporting our non-profit.