YWCA of Silicon Valley's TechGYRLS

WITI News Staff

August 14, 2012

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WITI supports efforts to provide STEM programs to boys and girls. This is the first in a series of spotlights on local and national mentorship programs. If you have a successful STEM program in your community that you would like us to highlight, please let us know.

Volunteer with the YWCA of Silicon Valley's TechGYRLS program and help expose girls to exciting job opportunities in Science and Engineering!

TechGYRLS is a national program that supports girls ages 5-14 in maintaining their interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The goal of TechGYRLS is to provide technology education in an all-girl environment where girls feel comfortable taking risks and opening up to new learning opportunities. TechGYRLS is a YWCA program that was developed in 1997 out of the need to strengthen girls' interest and competency in computer literacy. The YWCA of Silicon Valley started their TechGYRLS afterschool program in 2006 and has expanded its reach every year since.

TechGYRLS of the Silicon Valley is funded completely through grants and is free for all participants. This coming school year, the TechGYRLS program in the Silicon Valley will be working with mostly middle school and some elementary school students in San Jose, California. TechGYRLS is a dynamic program that offers exposure to a verity of STEM topics. Some of our past units have been; Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Digital Media, and Structural Engineering. Our program offers exciting experiments and fun field trips that engage the students and excites their interest. The TechGYRLS curriculum stimulates a deeper interest for students in technology, critical thinking, team work, and problem solving.

A central element to the TechGYRLS program is the connection to "real world" applications for the theoretical concepts introduced through experiments and projects. This is where professional women working in fields related to STEM can offer our students insight and inspiration. We are always looking for professional women to come and share their knowledge and experience with our students in Silicon Valley.

There are many ways to volunteer with us. Some options include; a one-time guest speaker, teaching a specific activity, or volunteer as a support teacher for a whole unit (2 to 4 weeks). If a volunteer is interested in a different type of experience, we are open and willing to working with her and her wants and needs. If you are interested in working with TechGYRLS of Silicon Valley, please contact the TechGYRLS Program Coordinator, Ashley Yee ([email protected]).

If you are not in the San Jose or Silicon Valley area and are interested in the TechGYRLS program, please contact your local YWCA.

Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.

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