Six Feet Up Partners with Eleven Fifty Academy to Bring High Tech to Girls
March 08, 2016
This past Saturday, March 5, Conner Prairie hosted its third Passport to Hi-Tech event. This event encourages young girls to get involved in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, fields that traditionally have many less women than men. Six Feet Up CTO Calvin Hendryx-Parker was excited to partner with Eleven Fifty Coding Academy to provide Raspberry Pi setups and curriculum for the event.
While the event was marketed to girls aged 7-12, younger girls and a few boys attended, all eager to engage in hands-on experiments and meet influential STEM professionals, a majority of which were female. Eleven Fifty Coding Academy's station allowed attendees to program a quick game in Scratch, a programming language already installed in the Raspberry Pi's. The goal, says Hendryx-Parker, "was to find the most simple thing to put down on the table quickly" that would be appropriate for both first-time Scratch users and more advanced participants.
Two sessions were held, with 17 participants each. Hendryx-Parker was involved in both the setup of the lab, and teaching attendees how to code their game. "Some of the girls got really excited as they started the game and added more features" says Hendryx-Parker of the sessions. They were able to add obstacles (witches in this case) to customize and change the behavior of their games.
Parts for a total of 45 Raspberry Pi set ups have been sourced, and will be used in future Eleven Fifty Academy events. The setup includes Raspberry Pi computers, keyboards, monitors, microphones and mice, which Six Feet Up CTO researched, sourced and helped set up. As can be expected when working with technology, there were some last minute adjustments needed for the resolution, but the setup and curriculum were smooth and a model for future events.
Six Feet Up hopes Passport to Hi-Tech will inspire attendees to consider a future in STEM!