For the month of September the Moxie Girls were featured as the Community Spotlight story. Patty Crawford did an amazing job painting a picture of the origins of this club, the community partnerships, the kids, and the direction where we are headed. It was a great way to kick off September seeing our girls in the spotlight where they belong.
Moxie Girls is one of the hottest new clubs on campus for 6-8th grade girls. The idea of an all-girls computer club started with 3 girls last year in the Lego Club. The First Lego League, which is an organization that teaches robotics to kids through research and teamwork, was predominantly filled with boys. Hannah Galligan, 7th grader and one of the original 3 Lego Girls said, “My favorite activity was building my own robot, programming it, and having the robot navigate an obstacle course.” Sierra Verde 3rd grade teacher, Mr. Rob Lane, and active volunteer parent, Mrs. Christy Scofield, began to see an opportunity unfold to help change the mind-set of girls to consider computer based careers. Mr. Lane and Mrs. Scofield conducted research for area grants and the idea of Moxie Girls was born.
Mr. Lane said, “How do we give 6th, 7th, and 8th grade girls the opportunity to overcome the gender discrepancy in the computer science field? We need a mental shift.” Thanks to a $5,000 grant from the Arizona Cardinals, 23 Sierra Verde middle school girls are participating in the year-long inaugural Moxie Girls club this year. Mr. Lane shared, “In only our second week of meeting, I am blown away by the success and enthusiasm of these girls.”
Moxie Girls is a mentor-based club that exposes middle school girls to powerful and accomplished women in the comp sci profession. Parent and co-organizer Christy Scofield said, “Last week we had a civil engineer student from ASU share her chosen profession through a Power Point presentation that showed female roles in the tech sector and challenges in the field. Afterward, one of the girls told me that she had never considered a position as a civil engineer and had no idea what they did. Now she can see herself in what is traditionally a ‘guy’ job.”
The Moxie girls have already had a mini hack-a-thon where the girls wrote 1594 lines of code in an hour. The next presentation will be from zSpace – 3D virtual reality learning. Other female STEM professionals that are slated to present to our Moxie Girls this year include mentors from Google, Microsoft, Drone Girl, American Airlines, Target, First Lego League, TEAL, Rising Tycoons, Sylvan, and Litas for Girls. SV Moxie Girls are always looking for more business mentors to join our presentation team, so please contact Mr. Lane if you have ideas.
Mrs. Scofield adds, “Our short term goal is to expand the horizons of these girls to see their options differently. By incorporating the experiences of powerful, successful women in the current work force, we are not only developing these girls’ computer science knowledge, but we are honing their soft skills as well. Collaboration, problem-solving and creativity skills are encouraged in a very social and peer-oriented environment to teach them how to be a cohesive team. They are having so much fun that they don’t realize how much they are learning.”
Word of the early success of the Sierra Verde Moxie Girls is spreading. Dr. Tseunis explains, “This week, 3 of the Moxie Girls will present what their new all-girl computer science club is accomplishing to the monthly meeting of Deer Valley Unified School District Administrators so that other schools might create their own Moxie Girls. Over 100 Deer Valley principals and administrative staff will be learning from our middle school girls on how to bridge gender gaps in traditionally male computer science careers.”
Magical Marketing owner, Brian Hadley, has offered to donate Moxie Girl t-shirts for all 23 girls to show the support of the local business community. Thank you!
Moxie Girls is full. Now what? Co-organizers Mr. Lane and Mrs. Scofield have a long term goal of encouraging all students, boys and girls alike, to consider avenues toward computer science occupations. So if you are not a Moxie Girl already, or even a girl at all, here are some places students and parents can turn to help a young computer science student get involved and learn more:
Said one parent after the 2nd Moxie Girl meeting, “My 7th grade daughter came home with Language Arts Teacher, Ms. Chesbro’s challenge in mind, ‘How are you going to be a leader in life?’ . My daughter said to me, ‘Mom, this is the club that is going to show me how.'”
-Reach out to Mr. Lane at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mrs. Scofield at email@example.com to ask questions and get pointed in the right direction. There are many options for our kids to explore computer science fields.
-STEM Club. Mr. Foote contact
-Code Combat Club. Ms. Badger contact
-Honeywell Fiesta Bowl Aerospace Challenge meets Tues and Wed mornings for 6th-8th graders. Mr. Lyons and Mrs. Anderson contacts
-1st, 2nd grade Coding Club. Meets Thurs. 3:30-5:00, S. Smith contact
-3rd, 4th grade Coding Club. Meets Tues. 3:30-5:00. S. Smith contact
-Sept. – Legos Exploration Through Creation. Thurs. 3:30-4:30
-April – Introduction to Lego Engineering for Kids. Thurs. 3:35-4:35
-4th qrade – Primary Programmers (1st and 2nd grade) with the DASH Robot, Mayfield contact
Event and online programs
-Go to area Sci-tech festivals
-Sylvan Robotics courses
-Google search area computer science offerings for kids
-You tube videos
-Litas for Girls