Saturday, May 12, 2018

Girl's Technovation 2018 Event

Today more than 70 middle and high school girls presented a long list of innovative projects, mostly mobile apps, with an emphasis on equity and social justice.  Anyone listening would leave optimistic about iGen/Gen Z and their willingness and ability to tackle future problems.

The middle school presentations room was overflowing.

Helping these all-volunteer nonprofits fits with exactly what we say we do as a university:

Through experiential learning, future-focused research, and an inclusive, spirited culture, Virginia Tech strives to accomplish the charge of its motto Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).

Despite all the challenges of HVAC, room availability, parking lot yellow tape mazes, and 4 pizza 
deliveries (over 40 pizzas), furniture shuffling, and more, we had really, really great outcomes.

Our interns counted the following:
  • Over 70 middle and high school girls (some were in 5th grade)
  • 11 volunteers  
  • 58 parents (estimated - not all stayed)
  • 10 judges and special presenters
Of course we also heard a lot of "I didn't even realize this (campus) was here", which reveals another important outcome of these events. 

A very big thanks to the Library staff who rescued the day when we discovered the HVAC schedule after the rooms had already been booked, invitations sent, and after a scramble to find space at George Mason ran into similar challenges.

Several sponsors from regional technology companies, nonprofits and government agencies were particularly impressed by the event, and suggested follow-up projects.