Weeklong TECH conference empowers JCPS girls

All That Tech focuses on girls of color, but welcomes all backgrounds and extends to young boys.
Published: Jun. 7, 2021 at 1:05 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 5:22 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A weeklong conference will hopefully make a lifelong impact for young girls in Jefferson County Public Schools.

All That Tech focuses on girls of color, but welcomes all backgrounds and extends to young boys. The program was commissioned by JCPS to peak students’ interest in tech.

The conference looked behind the hardware and saw the prototype for the future for eighth through 10th graders.

A room packed with girls, like 14-year-old Prisha Tyagi, working and learning the tech field is not the norm.

“I have this personality where if you tell me I can’t do it I will do it, take pictures and rub it in your face,” Tyagi said.

Tyagi is ready to combat the trend that males dominate the tech field, with her table of future Manual High School students.

During the All That Tech weeklong conference, the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage will transform so these techies can make their own websites, circuit boards, bring poetry to life with technology and design an app with the goal of helping solve community problems.

Seeing the possibilities for these students in a male-dominated field was overwhelming for Alisia McClain. McClain is the founder of TECH-nique. TECH-nique uses academic research to provide technology education for the purpose of empowering the communities of underrepresented groups in computer science.

“It’s like the eighth wonder of the world,” McClain said.

McClain partnered with JCPS for the conference. McClain said she found data showing Black women’s involvement in computer science was declining, and while boys are drawn to taking things apart and hacking, for young women she said the focus is often the ability to help solve problems and better society.

“It’s all about exploring who we are what our identity is who our community is,” McClain said. “And technology as that medium.”

Monday the girls made binary bracelets.

“You make the letters using zeros and ones using binary code,” Tyagi said. “Extra knowledge is always great and tech is something that’s always going to be there and is very prominent.”

The conference ends Friday and program leaders hope the session triggers an eternal and lucrative attraction.

“This conference just radiates so much positive energy,” Tyagi said. “It just seemed very empowering.”

There’s still space to join. You can sign up at TECH-nique.org or by bringing your child to the conference from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kentucky Museum for African American Heritage.

To register, click here.

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