ChickTech: High School

ChickTech: High School is a year-long series of opportunities for local and online cohorts of girls and non-binary youth, providing hands-on workshops, mentoring, and internship connections. It supplements traditional education and provides a supportive community for youth of marginalized genders to learn how to create technology.

All of our high school workshops are hands-on so that participants come out of each with a sense of accomplishment and a burst of confidence. They remain engaged and learning through monthly workshops throughout the year. By increasing our participants’ self-confidence and interest in technology, we increase the number of girls and non-binary youth who aspire to technology careers. This important work is shaping the workforce of tomorrow to have the diverse skills and perspectives needed for the industry to thrive.

Registration is open for 2021/2022 programming!

Soon after the onset of COVID-19 in the spring of 2020, ChickTech shifted high school programming into an online space for the safety and well-being of students, volunteers, and the greater tech community. In the 2021/2022 school year, ChickTech: High School will continue to offer virtual hands-on workshops and group mentorship opportunities for students online—we look forward to resuming in-person events and workshops when it is safe to do so.

Teachers & Educators: Nominate a high school student for ChickTech’s programming using the form below. If nominating more than five students, you can email us a spreadsheet with the required information for each student.

Registration is now open! If you are a student who has been nominated or would like to opt-in to our program, fill out the form below to register.

Please note that our programs are free to all participants. Eligible participants include 9th – 12th grade students who identify as girls, non-binary, transgender, or gender-fluid. We place additional emphasis on supporting students who are further underserved, including students of color and students eligible for free or reduced lunches, and accommodations for students with disabilities or additional needs to access our program are available upon request.

Questions about registering or nominating a student for our program? Please reach out to us at [email protected].

Volunteer to support ChickTech: High School

ChickTech is working to advance a diverse pipeline of girls and non-binary students into STEM careers, and we want YOU to get involved! There are many ways to donate your time and expertise:

  • Help us plan the Virtual High School program. From coordinating workshops and volunteers to promoting the program within your local community, we want your involvement! You can sign up here as a volunteer.
  • Share your expertise directly with students by leading a workshop or mentoring a group of students. We are interested in professionals within many different technical fields—please apply by submitting the form below.

Workshops

Below are some examples of workshops led by our ChickTech: High School volunteers.

Robotics

In this workshop, participants learn how a sophisticated robot is built and programmed – while building and programming their own at your own pace! Participants learn how to write a program to make their robot move in simple or complex patterns, to sense and avoid obstacles, to flash LEDs either at random, in sequences, or as an indication of the control process.

And the best part, after the workshop concludes, the students get to take their finished robot home!

Soft Circuits

By teaming up with professional engineers and using a Lilypad Arduino microcontroller, participants will transform a tote bag into an engineering marvel with some high-tech bling! Participants will learn programming and soldering basics to design, create, and program electronics that can sense inputs such as touch or light, and respond with outputs like sound or LEDs.

Smartphone App

There really is an app for everything! Apps to help you buy your groceries, check Facebook, read the news, play games, listen to music, and an endless amount of other things. Apps are really simple to make, and you can use your own creative idea to even come up with the next big thing! In this workshop, participants learn App Inventor, a program to create apps for Android phones – have a really fun weekend learning to build very own app!

3D Printing

Have you heard all the rage about 3D printing? From printing prosthetic arms to replacement hearts to fun toys, 3D printing has many applications in the real world. In our 3d Printing Workshop, participants will get a taste of what it’s like to design and print their own 3D object which they then get to take home to enjoy!

What makes our program different?

Many young women do not reach their potential in STEM because they thought it was too difficult—or did not have role models in the field. A crucial aspect of our program is finding young women and non-binary students who would not otherwise have thought of themselves as capable of succeeding in a high tech career. We focus on recruiting youth who do not see themselves as technical but who have the aptitude to do very well in technical fields.

By asking educators, parents, and friends to hand-select our participants, we are giving our youth a vote of confidence: people who know them and recognize their abilities have nominated them for this exclusive opportunity! We place additional emphasis on recruiting BIPOC (Black and Indigenous people of color), at-risk, and low-income youth. Our program is free to participants; transportation assistance and food are provided at all of our events, and child-care stipends are also available for teen parents.

Austin 2017 High School Kickoff. Photo by Liz Lass.