ChickTech logoTo celebrate the end of its first year, the Bay Area chapter of ChickTech held a picnic last week at the New Relic offices in downtown San Francisco, complete with food, games, and raffle prizes. ChickTech is a nonprofit dedicated to helping women and girls pursue future careers in technology. The organization offers free workshops and mentors to high school girls in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The purpose of the picnic was to have fun and relax after the girls had worked hard and learned so much throughout the school year. We started the event by having the girls share what they had done with their mentors, what they learned, and what improvements they thought we could make for next year. Then we ate a delicious catered lunch of sandwiches, salads, and mini chocolate cakes. After lunch, we played a variety of team-building game, card games, and board games. The event concluded with a raffle giving away an Arduino starter kit, a Raspberry Pi starter kit, and a quadcopter.

Overall, the inaugural year was a huge success. ChickTech helped introduce almost 90 high school students to different technical skills and helped build their confidence. We’re excited about the coming school year and hope to continue to inspire young girls.

Would you like to help support the next generation of women in technology? If you’re interested in volunteering for ChickTech or in mentoring a bright, curious student this year, contact me at maria.stopak@chicktech.org. Even if you don’t live in the Bay Area, there are chapters in different areas of the country. In fact, there are many ways to volunteer no matter where you live. Visit ChickTech’s volunteer page or contact me and I’ll help point you in the right direction!

Check out photos from the ChickTech picnic below:

As a warmup, we played a team-building “trust” game in which one person was blindfolded, and then relied on the rest of the group to help them navigate across an open space without touching objects placed on the floor.

ChickTech event

ChickTech event

The event started with the students gathering in a circle to share personal stories about the project they worked on and what they had learned from their mentors. Some girls shared their projects with the group, including one student who designed her own video game.

ChickTech event

ChickTech event

ChickTech event

ChickTech event

More fun and team building as the students broke out into small groups and played a variety of board games with a volunteer mentor. (Yes, it’s called ChickTech, but we welcome boy mentors, too!)

ChickTech event

ChickTech event

The day capped off with a raffle giveaway, and three lucky girls got to take home cool prizes. My own mentee, Mylen Cruzado, nabbed the quadcopter!

ChickTech event

ChickTech event

ChickTech event

All in all, it was a great day! (That’s me, the “Data Nerd” in the front row.)

ChickTech event

 

All photos © Chris Clauss 2015, reprinted with permission.

Maria is the Marketing Data Analyst at New Relic, resident Mathe-Magician, and passionate follower of trends and discussions of women in technology. View posts by .

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