As we come up on awarding the 2015 Technology Matching Fund grantees on Wednesday, July 15 in the Council Chambers, we thought it might be a good idea to look at success stories from 2014.
The University of Washington’s Women’s Center’s Making Connections (MC) Program received a Technology Literacy and Access grant for $14, 399 to “provide enriching educational and character-building experiences for underrepresented Seattle-area high school girls to achieve in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).”
In the 2014-2015 academic year, MC served over 105 students from 23 high schools in the greater Seattle area. In addition to new computers at the center, other components of the program include mentoring, tutoring, career exploration, and founding a local chapter of the national “Girls Who Code” program to support MC students who want to pursue computer science.
Making Connections (MC) also provided opportunities for students to explore careers in STEM fields, which focus on providing a better understanding of what different companies (Boeing, Microsoft, Google, etc.) are like to work at through hearing first-hand from managers and employees themselves.
“The most important experience of this event was hearing/networking with the Google employees. You learn so much from their past experience to better prepare yourself for your future. I now know that I can still explore different careers, and still have time to find my passion. Also, it was great to see what the Google company has to offer,” said one student who went to Google to participate in a hands-on activity where students could make their own designs for a product.
Mentoring is another core element of the MC program that offers students the ability to work one-on-one with a mentor who can provide them academic, professional, and personal guidance as they prepare for life after high school. Mentors have served in a variety of different fields and include college students, working professionals, and even former Making Connections students who want to give back. Mentors meet one-on-one with their mentees each month, and are up-to-date on resources that can assist their students.
The Technology Matching Fund provides
awards of up to $30,000 in matching funds to community projects which increase technology literacy, provide access to computers, the Internet, and other information technologies; and increase civic participation in the use of technology.
As mentioned above, the 2015 Technology Matching Funds will be awarded July 15 in the Seattle City Council Chambers.