It’s no secret that fewer girls than boys go into the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math). But Jean MacDonald, the founder of App Camp For Girls, is doing something great to start to change that. Inspired by Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls, App Camp aims to make women currently involved with designing iPhone and iPad apps into mentors for girls interested in technology fields.
MacDonald got the idea for creating this non-profit while she was at a software conference and realized that she could not even see another woman in the room from where she was sitting. The goal of the program is to begin to shift the gender imbalance in the software field so that more women are involved. The camp is a great way for girls 12-14 to gain self-esteem, interest, and knowledge while having fun.
Jean MacDonald herself is a partner at Smile, a productivity app developer for Macs and iOS devices. One of their most famous apps is TextExpander touch, a keyboard shortcuts app. According to her page on the App Camp For Girls web site, she developed the idea for App Camp after many years supporting Portland’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls.
App Camp launches over one week in August in Portland, Oregon, but the hope is that the idea will gain enough momentum for expansion into other states and eventually other countries. The girlswill brainstorm ideas for apps, learn about how to turn their rough ideas into real apps using Xcode, and have tons of fun doing it. Part tech and part play, the camp will also provide yoga classes and self-defense classes for the girls. The girls are also each given an iPod touch as part of their scholarships so that they can explore existing apps and eventually see their own app in action! How fun does this sound?
Basically I would really just like to be signed up for App Camp For Girls, but I’m probably too old. Bummer.
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