Curiosity, the Intrepid, and the Female Factor

Last Sunday, I gave a talk / workshop about my work at the Intrepid Museum for Camp G.O.A.L.S. (Greater Opportunities Advancing Leadership and Science) for girls, a free six-week camp for 8th and 9th graders in New York City’s public schools. The intention of the camp was to help 50 to 55 accepted applicants build proficiency in math and science.

Excuse me while I ogle this fantastic flying machine:

Sara Chipps, a developer and co-founder of Girl Develop It, gave a great keynote speech about how the population of female developers has dwindled over time, encouraging the students to help build the Internet. (Yes!)

My workshop was entitled, “Wonder, Unlimited: A Speculative Workshop” after giving them a short talk about some of the things I’ve done. I asked them to take a piece of today and to imagine how it would be tomorrow. It could be it a city, an app (if we will still have apps), a piece of clothing, an organism, a gadget, etc. The kids were provided with clay, magic markers, crayons, and some activity worksheets that related to some of my projects so that they can experience them and get their creative juices flowing (which is not very difficult for kids).

The students were intelligent creative young ladies, aged 9 to 15, with some family members. They were prodigious and driven, asking questions on how to engage in science and technology, and professing their dislike for sparkly vampires. (That’s hope, right there.) I wasn’t allowed to photograph the kids, but here are some photos of their work, which included meta-looking apps, new animals, and futuristic flowers:

Thanks to Emma Nordin of the Intrepid’s Education Department, who assisted me through the whole event.

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