"I made a song on the computer!” 8th grader Carmen Diaz was excited to tell her teachers this morning. She had played different parts and instruments on a computer, layered them together, and made an original track. “Notes for Life” was just one of a number of sections students rotated through on April 27 at the DigiGirlz event at Microsoft in Edina. St. Croix Lutheran sent seven 8th grade girls to the event to learn about computers, careers, and women in technology industries.
In the “Wearable Gadgets” section, students were given the name of a health concern and a clothing item, and had to come up with a way that item could be used to positively influence the concern. Our girls were told to design a shoe and that could help heart disease. They brainstormed and drew up their ideas to invent and present the “Shoe-bit” to other attendees in the meeting room overlooking Centennial Lakes.
The “Power BI” section introduced students to analyzing statistics and how to use computers and programs to make useful graphs to represent the data.
The girls got a kick out of wearing goggles in the “Mixed Reality” section where they could see virtual items like animals around the room, and then could grab and move them or make them bigger, all through this innovative technology.
After lunch, they learned about branding- whether a company, product, or yourself- and the girls could then practice their elevator speeches. The students also heard advice to “be you” and “be nice” in person and on social media, and to remember that things on the internet don’t go away. Future employers can and do see what you post.
Microsoft employees also took students on a tour around the Maker Lab and answered questions about careers and working for Microsoft.
There was dedicated time for students to meet with professionals during “Speed Networking” where they could ask anything about their jobs, or college paths and careers. The room was filled with some amazing women: CEOs, VPs, a tech director, engineers, architects, lawyers, a state senator, and an IT analyst.
8th grader Olivia Allen said of the event, “It made me want to create my own start-up and work on something big in the tech industry! I learned the importance of good mentors in school to help me make it happen.”
This is the 17th year Microsoft has hosted DigiGirlz for 8th -12th grade girls, and SCL was one of ove 30 schools (about 140 students total) to participate at the Edina location. Microsoft hosts DigiGirlz Day in other cities around the country and even around the world.
Opportunities like this are designed to help students become the total student and prepare for a lifetime of learning! It is one of many experiential trips that is offered at SCL middle school.
Find out more about the middle school at StCroixLutheran.org/MiddleSchool