The first-ever Edmonton Catholic Schools (ECSD) Women in Tech Day (WIT) was hosted on March 13, 2019, in Edmonton, Alberta. The event, which was the brainchild of ECSD EmTech Consultant, Trish Roffey, saw over 150 female students and teachers from 30 different schools gather to engage in a number of hands-on STEM workshops. The goal of the event was to provide female participants with the opportunity to explore new STEM technologies and to inspire a passion for the industry.
InkSmith had the pleasure of supporting the first-ever WIT Day by facilitating a number of workshops and assisting with the premiere event which featured the k8 robot. Acting as equal participants, each of the 150 students and teachers was provided with a k8 robot and micro:bit to build, code and ultimately take back to their own classrooms.
In the second half of the day, participants had the opportunity to attend a variety of 16 different workshops on topics including Photoshop, Coding with Sphero, Graphic Design, Green Screening, Virtual Reality and more. These exciting STEM workshops were hosted by a number of female leaders within the Edmonton Catholic School District.
After an extremely successful first year, it was no question that the team at ECSD would host the event again in 2020. This year, WIT Day will take place on March 6th, just two days before International Women's Day. The event is deliberately run in conjunction with the annual day which occurs on March 8th, 2020.
This year's WIT Day will focus on the issue of climate change by using the InkSmith Climate Action Kit in the featured workshop. Just like the previous year, each of the participants will receive a Climate Action Kit to build, code and take back to use in their own classrooms.
Schools are required to submit an application on a first-come, first-serve basis in order to participate in the event. Last year, the demand for Women in Tech Day was so overwhelming, the event sold out in just 4 hours. To accommodate the increasing demand, the event will boost it's capacity to 200 participants this year.
To allow for the most diverse group of participants, schools will be limited to sending 1 teacher and 4 students to the event. The restriction is designed to accommodate the large number of schools within the Edmonton Catholic Schools Division. Since every participant will return to the classroom with their own Climate Action Kit, limiting the number of participants per school will allow for the most wide-spread impact within the school board.
Events like this give students the opportunity to explore new STEM technology in a safe and inclusive space. Specifically, Women in Tech Day empowers female participants to explore STEM technology and learn from other females in the industry. This event not only gives students and teachers the opportunity to learn about new technology but also allows them to take back this new technology and share what they've learned with their class and even school. The InkSmith Team is looking forward to once again support this awesome event.