Nearly 50 middle school girls in Chattanooga received training in 3D printing, compliments of some GPS students. After senior Ayushi Sinha was awarded a $1,500 Aspire IT grant this past summer from the National Center for Women & Technology to run a six-hour workshop at the Chattanooga Public Library, members of the GPS Computer Science Club worked under her leadership to plan and run “Behind the Screen: A 3D Workshop for Girls.”
The workshop didn’t just provide training or the how-to’s of creating original objects in both Tinkercad and OpenSCAD for 3D printing. In addition to the workshops, the sixth through eighth grade students enjoyed a question and answer session with NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Award Winners from GPS. In the morning, Daniel Hampton, CEO of 3D Ops, a medical device company, talked about the use of 3D in creating medical design and patient-specific solutions. The afternoon speaker was Dr. Shelley Prevost, co-founder and CEO at Torch, whose mission it is to make the internet a wonderful place for kids to grow up.
Ms. Sinha’s goal for the workshop was to inspire middle school girls interested in the tech field by offering direct engagement from teen volunteers. “The girls in the Computer Science Club, along with faculty members Mrs. Pieritz and Mr. Glass, were incredibly helpful in putting the program together, from getting the website up to designing the T-shirts to teaching OpenSCAD and Tinkercad,” says Ms. Sinha. “It was heartwarming to see the volunteers sharing their computer science skills and passion with younger girls. The participants returned home with an increased interest for and tools to continue exploring computer science.”
Among the volunteers at the weekend workshop, other than Ms. Sinha and her family members, were McKenzie Frizzell, Margaret Lim, Su Bei, Lynn Mai, Abby Glass, Sophia Han, Hope Newberry, Jen Andrews, and Story DeWeese. Other members of the Computer Science club assisted with pre-workshop planning.