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About the Program

ChickTech High School 2020 is now a yearlong virtual learning experience for high school girls. This virtual youth program enables students to engage in hands-on, interactive activities as they foster STEM skills and real-life career connections. These virtual programs are offered to young womxn nationally in order to provide them with an ongoing supportive community and career development opportunities. After attending an orientation session, a participant can engage monthly in:

  • Two workshops (between 1-2 hours each) where participants dive into a monthly topic.
  • One group mentoring session (~1 hour) where participants have an opportunity to connect with career professionals.
  • A regional chapter meeting (~1 hour) to network with other local participants, professionals, and chapter volunteers.

If a student participates in 20 program hours or more during the program year (including a combination of workshops, mentorships, and chapter meetings) they will be eligible to participate in the end of year conference/culmination event. This participation includes interacting with recorded content if students can’t attend live sessions.

This program is free to all participants. Eligible participants include 9th – 12th graders who identifies as a girl (along with all transgender, gender-fluid, and non-binary youth). We are always looking to support the underserved, so minorities and those who are eligible for free or reduced lunches are most welcome


Workshops

Workshops connect ChickTech students with industry professionals in hands-on interactive activities as they foster STEM skills and real-life career connections. All workshops contain a hands-on STEM engagement component and last between 1.5 to 2 hours. Students will have the opportunity to self-select into monthly workshops and group mentorship opportunities which follow monthly themes:

  • Networks in November
  • Design in December
  • Javascript in January
  • Future Plans in February
  • Math in March
  • Apps in April
  • Machines in May
  • Technology in June

Workshop Examples:

  • Footwear Engineering
  • Sustainable Product Design
  • Video Game Design with Phaser
  • Intro to JavaScript
  • Why Engineers Need English Class: Technical Writing and Coding
  • Virtual Reality

Group Mentorships

Group Mentorships are a chance for participants to connect with STEM industry professionals to learn more about career advice, internship opportunities and what various STEM paths (alternative and traditional) can look like.

Group Mentorship Examples:

  • Virtual Mentorship with WAVE-connecting students to mentors
  • Using Technology to Make an Impact on Society
  • How to Have a Creative Career in Tech
  • The Journey of Turning Passions into a Career
  • How Extracurriculars Can Lead to Career Success

Chapter Meetings

Hosted by Regional Chapters. These sessions are usually an hour long and serves as a recap to the monthly sessions. It provides:

  • Opportunity for participants to connect with other local students
  • Participants can bring questions about monthly programs
  • Ability to engage with local chapter volunteers and professionals

Certificate Levels

Students will qualify for certificates based on the programming hours they participate in throughout the school year programming (October – June.) Any participant reaching 20 hours of participation will automatically enter you into the end of year conference raffle.

  • Gold: 50 hours
  • Silver: 35 hours
  • Bronze: 20 hours

Prizes will be associated with all tiers. Each time a participant levels up to the next tier they are entered into a raffle to win prizes such as free tickets to the ACT-W National conference, fabulous ChickTech SWAG, and many other exciting prizes.


How it Works

Nominations (September 3 – October 9)

Educators, Mentors and Parents nominate student(s) to participate in the program. Once the student is nominated, we send a personalized congratulations letter with an invitation for the student to register for the program to the nominator and parent to share with the student.

Registration (September 9 – October 17)

Nominated Students register for the program and are enrolled in our Apple Classroom where the workshops and mentoring groups will be held. The student receives a welcome letter that explains how to access the platform and an invitation to attend the Orientation Session.

Orientation Session (October 24)

A 2-hour session to facilitate onboarding of the students into the program and providing motivational speakers.

School Year Programming (November – May)

Participants are invited to all workshops, mentorships and local chapter meetings with monthly themes such as Networks in November, Design in December, JavaScript in January, etc. All sessions will be recorded and available on demand for students that can’t attend the live events.

End of Year Conference (May / June)

Students with over 20 program hours participation will be invited to join us for this for this end of year conference / celebration.

Summer Programming (June / July)

The learning opportunities continue with ongoing virtual workshops and mentoring sessions that follow more fun monthly themes.


Nominations

Why Nominate Students?

We rely on educators in schools and programs to help us identify high school girls who demonstrate an interest to succeed in technology-related disciplines or are creative (whether they recognize their own potential or not.) We encourage the nomination of students who are considered at-risk and/or in alternative schools or programs.

This recruitment strategy gives potential participants an immediate boost of confidence and a sense of recognition and hopefully yields a very diverse group of girls. Across the nation, 65% of our students are minorities and 49% are eligible for free or reduced lunch.

Nomination Criteria

  • Will be in 9th-12th grade as of November 2020.
  • Identifies as a girl (along with all transgender, gender-fluid, and non-binary youth).
  • Students who have an aptitude for math or sciences, or with a creativity and willingness to learn new things.
  • Open to all, especially those without technology experience.
  • We are always looking to support the underserved, so minorities and those who are eligible for free or reduced lunches are most welcome.

FAQ

What materials are required for participation?
A computer and an internet connection. If a student is lacking either of these items, please contact us to see if we can help. All other materials that might be required will be provided free of charge.

Do you have to be a teacher to nominate a girl?
No! We accept nominations from mentors, troop leaders, community leaders, parents, and tutors as well. We are looking for nominations from someone who knows the potential of the girl they are nominating. Just tell us on the nomination form how you know the nominee.

What if I am a girl that is interested in attending but have no one to nominate me?
We would love to have you participate. Just use the Contact Us information below and let us know that you would like to be nominated!

Does a parent or guardian need to provide permission?
Yes. There is a parent / guardian permission section in the registration form.

Can a participant join after the program starts?
Yes. Although we strongly urge participants to start at the beginning of the year, we do allow students to join after the orientation. Students will need to watch the orientation online and any other workshop sessions that have already been held.

Why the “x” in “womxn”?
In 2019, ACT-W began spelling womxn with an x to signal that all female-identifying individuals are included in our community. The word womxn refers to transgender, genderqueer, non-binary, and cisgender female identities. You can read more about the history of the word “womxn” at the New York Times.

If I was nominated for the April 2020 event will I be nominated for this program?
We will be working directly with your school to nominate you for this year’s program.

If I registered for the April 2020 event, will I have to re-register for the next event?
Yes, registrants who are still in high school or just graduated will receive an invitation to register when registration opens.

What do students gain from participating?
Our program provides a fun, positive learning experience designed to build participants’ confidence in their technical abilities, provide them with positive role models, help them create connections with other young women from their community, and create a positive association with technology creation.

What does it cost?
We are proud to offer ChickTech:High School program at no cost to high school participants.

Can only girls participate in ChickTech events?
Our programs are open to any youth who identifies as a girl, along with trans, non-binary, and gender-fluid youth, in grades 8 through 12. The benefit of an all-girl experience is supported by a significant body of research. Learn more about our inclusion policy.

How many students can I nominate?
There isn’t a limit. We want educators to nominate girls who would not normally be encouraged to pursue STEM. We do have a bulk upload template available for those who want to nominate more than 5 students. Please use the Contact Us information below to request a template.

How much experience do students need?
None. In fact, we strongly encourage the nomination of girls who have never participated in technology programs or classes before. Our goal is to have ⅔ of our participants with no experience, although we would never turn away a registered participant because they do have experience!

Why do you request nominations?
This unique recruitment strategy not only reaches the intended demographic (those who have not self-selected into technology), it also creates excitement among participants by providing them with an immediate boost of confidence through the recognition of their strengths and abilities. It also allows us to get a more diverse set of participants with minimal effort from busy teachers and counselors!

I love what ChickTech is doing, how can I get more involved?
We are always in need of volunteers to help organize and promote our events, lead workshops and raise money to support our programs.  As an educator, providing connections to other schools and encouraging them to participate is extremely helpful! Please feel free to reach out to us.


Contact Us

Please direct all questions to Lisa.Obrian@chicktech.org

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