Newark girls feature coding skills at 'Girls in Technology' showcase

LSC News

On June 15, 2015, Liberty Science Center hosted a showcase for the Girls in Technology STEM education program created and delivered in partnership with Prudential Foundation and Luis Munoz Marin Elementary School in Newark, NJ. The showcase featured fifth grade female program participants and female technology professionals. All in attendance were exposed to the many facets of a career in the information technology field including videogame production and development.

Katie Gardner, Liberty Science Center’s lead program educator, Ms. Latitia McReynolds, Luis Munoz Marin School’s fifth grade teacher, and program participants present their final videogames to the audience of parents and technology professionals.

Twenty-five fifth grade girls from Luis Munoz Marin School in Newark, NJ participated in the program. Through collaborative learning and hands-on exploration, the girls were taught basic coding and algorithmic skills in order to ultimately design and program their own videogames. The program was developed and delivered during the 2014-2015 school year. Participating girls learned various aspects of programming such as list databases, random positioning, and incrementing variables. Principal Maria Ortiz and Ms. Latitia McReynolds collaborated with Katie Gardner, Liberty Science Center’s lead educator, to adapt and learn the program for future stand-alone deliveries at the school

Maria Ortiz, principal of Luis Munoz Marin School and Prudential staff member Janna Stoul, Vice President of Information Systems, interact with guests.

At the showcase, each female participant presented their final videogame while describing their experience with the design and development process to the audience of invited guests and technology professionals. Keynote speaker Kara Kono, videogame producer at The Game Agency, spoke about her own experiences as a woman in technology while encouraging the program participants to continue exploring and developing their STEM skills. After presenting, the program participants spoke with attending female technology professionals in order to learn more about future careers in STEM and their experiences as women in technology.

Program participants interact with the audience of Female technology professionals including Illise Benun, founder of Marketing Mentor

Technology professionals Jessica Perilla, CEO and Creative Director of JPD Studio, Illise Benun, founder of Marketing Mentor, Monique Haas, Vice President of Hutzler Manufacturing Company, and keynote speaker Kara Kono, videogame producer at The Game Agency, show support for the Girls in Technology program.

David Heafitz, Vice President of Global Business and Joseph Dunleavy, Vice President and Head of Technology, assisted Liberty Science Center with the program framework and recruitment of female technology professionals.

Check out more photos from the evening on the Liberty Science Center Facebook page.

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