The Virgin Islands Next Generation Network (viNGN, Inc.) was one of several participants in the 2nd Women of AT&T PR/USVI Girls in Future Technologies (GIFT) Day on Saturday, November 9, 2019.
According to organizers, the purpose of GIFT Day is to empower girls to choose careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM). These opportunities positively influence the social, educational and professional futures of young ladies. Technology remains a male dominated field, and young girls may need encouragement to uncover their natural talents.
viNGN staffers Anita Davis, Pamela Finley and Aisha Webster provided over 20 6th to 8th grade girls with an introduction to programming concepts. They played an interactive “unplugged” coding game, set up like a traditional board game. They had to use code snippets to navigate, avoid pitfalls and collect bonuses. In this way, social interaction and the use of the original computer (their brains) created a fun, team-oriented atmosphere.
The girls also programmed their way through Tynker’s Candy Quest, gaining experience points and knowledge of instructions like loops and conditional statements to help them avoid obstacles to complete their levels. Then, they got to see how all they had done is used to plot paths with the Ozobot, a pocket-sized coding robot that may be used in a variety of ways. High achievers received prizes, and all students received gift bags containing useful gifts such as USB flash drives, webcam privacy screens, earbuds and power packs for charging devices.
We’re so grateful to have been invited again by Women of AT&T PR/USVI! We had as much fun as the students during their adventure of discovery. We found some superstars in the bunch, to be sure – but all of the girls walked away knowing that they belong in technology, and technology belongs to them.