(Special thanks to App Camp for Girls for the invitation)
When I wrote my initial post about App Camp for Girls, I was hoping to not just draw attention...but also drive attendance. When they invited me to attend their pitch event on July 28th at 8th Light, I was even more curious. After all, what did the end results for teaching girls how to code look like? Impressive, as the gallery at the end of this post shows.
But now, the fine details: three different teams of girls were selected to "pitch" to a panel of local judges which included:
- Amanda Lannert, CEO of Jellyvision Lab, Advisory Board Member to 1871 and Starter League, and member of Chicago NEXT;
- Ellen Shapiro, Lead Mobile Developer for SpotHero;
- Lakshmi Shenoy, Vice President of Strategy & Business Development at 1871; and
- Anna Valencia, Chicago Office of the City Clerk.
All of the apps were quiz apps...but with a nice, fun approach. Teams were asked to provide background on the apps, as well as their marketing plan, how they would finance their apps, and identifying their target market for the app. (In short, App Camp for Girls helped these teams learn and practice skills for "real world" applications. Teams and their apps included
- Ducks That Code, who created an app called Dino Survival, which helps people who find themselves trapped in Jurassic Park;
- Blue Lemurs From France, who created a quiz that lets you determine your Spirit Animal (and which indicates that my personal spirit animal is a hippo); and
- Lettuce4Pie who created an emergency preparedness app called Raining Duck-Tastrophe, which assesses a person's ability to cope should there be a torrent of ducks raining from the sky.
Although it sounds like I'm making light of this, I would like to emphasize that App Camp for Girls' mission is to engage middle school students in learning how to code. Having tested these apps myself (mobile devices were provided to the audience), I found them very well done, with a great attention to detail....and fun. Many industries are working towards gender diversity in the workplace and the Chicago tech scene is welcoming App Camp for Girls as a critical partner.
In short, I was glad to take part - even in a small way - in helping App Camp for Girls establish a presence in Chicago. They're a great resource for the Chicago area, and hopefully, we'll see them again next year.
Have any other suggestions for great tech resources? Know organizations that could use exposure? Please feel free to leave them in the comments below, reach out to me privately via e-mail, or join the conversation on our Facebook page.
And as always, thanks for reading!