Middle School Girls Invited Tech & Tiaras Events, New Event for Girls to Learn About Tech
North Central Washington – The Apple STEM Network and the North Central Educational Service District (NCESD), in partnership with Microsoft, NCW Tech Alliance, NCW Libraries and Career Connect Washington, are proud to announce five upcoming events across the region this spring called, “Tech & Tiaras”, for 8th grade students who identify as female or non-binary, to explore technology and computer science:
- March 23 | 8:30 AM – NOON | CB Tech Skills Center | Moses Lake, WA
- March 28 | 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM | Omak Middle School | Omak, WA
- March 30 | 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM | WV Tech Skills Center | Wenatchee, WA
- April 18 | Quincy High School | Quincy, WA
- April 25 | 8:30 AM – NOON | Manson High School | Manson, WA
SHB 5088 was passed in 2019, which requires all comprehensive high schools to offer elective computer science courses for high school students by 2022-2023 school year. This means that for the first time across the region, middle school students have the option to take computer science and technology courses beginning in high school.
Despite this expanded access to computer science young women are significantly underrepresented in these classes. In 2022, approximately 792 students across north central Washington took a high school computer science course, only 26% of those enrollments were students who identify as female.
This gender gap translates to the regional workforce and women are significantly underrepresented in technology roles as well. Labor market data shows that in 2022 there was an average of 21,414 open computing positions across the state each month. These positions posted an average salary of $112,623 yearly. Hispanic women comprise 26% of the population in North Central Washington, but comprise just 2.7% of the local technology workforce.
To encourage more young women to consider taking courses and exploring future career paths in technology, the regional events were designed to inspire middle school girls and teens who identify as female, through a fun and engaging, hands-on experience with technology alongside women in the technology industry.
To further the message, the girls will also have a chance to hear directly from parents, peers and teachers about the benefits of STEM education and the possible career pathways for all students. In this short compilation video produced by NCESD, voices from families in North Central Washington, including a Quincy High School graduate who attends the University of Washington, an Othello High School graduate who attended DigiPen Institute of Technology, and other students from Manson High School and Almira Coulee-Hartline High School.
Middle school is a perfect time for students to begin preparing for future careers through experiences that introduce them to new skills and professionals who can help students to identify with potential careers on a personal level.
Each event will give students opportunities to code, explore robotics, engineer an LED light up tiara and connect in small groups with local women in technology. All Tech and Tiaras events are free for students to attend but space is limited. Educators are encouraged to register their classes soon.
These events have been sponsored by the NCW Libraries, Microsoft, and NCW Tech Alliance.
Educators and administrators, are encouraged to register students at: bit.ly/TECHANDTIARAS
About the Apple STEM Network
The Apple STEM Network is a three-dimensional alliance of K-12, Higher Ed and community partners in North Central Washington. We represent a diverse region with tremendous potential for STEM industry in agriculture, energy and innovation. With our collective effort we intend to: provide a constructive support system for educators who aim to meet the rising challenge for all students to develop 21st century skills and STEM literacy, to integrate community mentorship and promote authentic project-based learning and field experiences for all levels of education, and engage students in exploring the world of opportunities on the horizon through STEM. For more information visit www.applestemnetwork.org
About the North Central Educational Service District
The North Central Educational Service District is a resource to the 29 districts within the four-county service area, providing professional and timely tools to meet the needs of individual schools and districts, and a reliable point of education-related information for the communities served. The NCESD is a respected resource to other ESDs throughout Washington State.
About Career Connect Washington
Career Connect Washington was created by Governor Jay Inslee, with support and funding provided by the Washington State Legislature, to provide our state’s young people with expanded opportunities to gain real-world experience through a fully integrated career connected learning system. Business, labor, educators, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and many others have come together to create a strategy for making these opportunities available in every part of our state to every student as part of their academic journey.
Career Connect Washington will provide students with early exploration and awareness in elementary and middle school, career preparation in high school, and “Career Launch” programs which can begin as early as 11th grade and bring paid, meaningful work-based learning together with an aligned classroom curriculum to create a competitive candidate for a real job and a post-high school credential and/or a year’s worth of college credit. Career Connect Washington builds from the good efforts already underway and facilitates scaling them and integrating them into a system of options with great appeal to students and their parents as they explore their futures. For more information, visit www.careerconnectwa.org