Girl Scouts from New York and Pennsylvania had the opportunity to learn in a number of technology classes held at the iSchool.

By: Hailey Temple

Earlier this month, the School of Information Studies (iSchool) hosted approximately 100 Girl Scouts through the Girls are IT event to expose young women to the technology field.

Girl Scouts from New York and Pennsylvania joined iSchool students and faculty for a day of education and hands-on experience with technology. The girls had opportunities to learn from iSchool students about the many avenues to explore in technology.

Course topics included blogging, website design, Adobe Photoshop, social media, sports informatics, and innovative technology. iSchool students and faculty also shared their experiences with technology and entrepreneurship through programs like the Syracuse Student Sandbox.

Courtney Purdiue, an iSchool senior, partnered with iSchool graduate student Max Greenberg to teach the sports informatics class. This course focused on the way technology has transformed the production and consumption of sports – from collecting statistics to social media spectators. Purdiue sensed the enthusiasm the girls felt about the technology and its application to their favorite sports. “A girl stated NASCAR was her favorite sport, so we showed her how technology has allowed the game to become more predictable,” said Perdiue. “There was a general interest in seeing their favorite sport in a new light and understanding how technology could influence what they had grown to love the most–the game.”

For Perdiue, helping girls experience technology innovation through education expands the opportunities and perspectives represented in the industry, “If technology and computer science educations are solely experienced by boys, then we're missing out on half of a population that could create the next innovative product or solution the world needs,” said Perdiue

The iSchool is an active participant in the National Center for Women & Information Technology’s Pacesetters Program, a two-year program seeking to radically increase the number of women in the technology field. Events including the Girls are IT program expose girls to the range of ways technology applies to today’s world.

“Technology is ubiquitous in today’s society, and exposure to these technologies empowers girls to pursue success in the classroom and careers in any field,” said Sarah Weber, program manager for Global Enterprise Technology (GET) Program at Syracuse. “Events like Girls are IT shows these girls all the opportunities that are available now and in the future of technology.”