Junior Innovator Camp, part of the Wonder Women Tech Conference, is a chance for students to learn more about technology and entrepreneurship.
Field Notes: Junior Innovation Camp
Automatticians, the people who build WordPress.com, participate in events and projects around the world every day. Periodically, they report back on the exciting things they do when not in front of a computer.
Today I’d like to share some experiences we had during the Junior Innovator Camp that was part of the Wonder Women Tech conference earlier this summer. I was joined by my colleagues Marjorie Asturias (who also spoke), Sarah Blackstock, Erica Varlese, and Anne McCarthy.
Wonder Women Tech, where Automattic was a sponsor, is a conference that highlights women in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math), and provides a forum for discussing important topics around diversity. The two-day event drew over 150 speakers, all of whom were successful entrepreneurs or business leaders, who shared their triumphs, failings, and learned lessons. The conference offered educational opportunities to a number of area students who were attending on scholarships.
My colleagues and I presented a half-day workshop on “WordPress for the Beginning Entrepreneur” as part of the Junior Innovator Camp aimed at young adults aged 13-17. First up we taught the students how to create websites using WordPress.com, including how to customize the look and feel of a site. After that we walked them through a hands-on branding exercise that explored how to come up with a product or service, how to make your business unique, and what types of people your business would appeal to. We rounded the whole thing out with a crash course in marketing before the students shared their businesses with us.
Twenty-one students (and their parents) attended this event. Students worked in groups for the workshop, but I was pleased to see the adults following along on their own as well. It’s never a bad day when you can share your knowledge with someone, and this day was no different. Our students were wonderful and enthusiastic. We ended up with a lot of great business ideas and even a few opportunities to talk about future career paths for these young innovators.
I’m grateful to the organizers of Wonder Women Tech who gathered and encouraged such a wonderful group of students. I left feeling reminded of all the ways that technology allows us to be creative, share our unique experiences, and build a future we can all be proud of. Wanting to be part of something big? We’re always hiring!
That is so wonderfully inspiring, and demonstrates the power of one innovative idea gone ‘viral’, telling girls that there is nothing that is off-limits by exposure. I wouldn’t know how to teach STEM targeting girls other than removing the limits on success potential, and then offer guidance and encouragement along the way. It’s that simple.
I am still in awe that my first born, a girl, excelled in STEM subjects and is now a Pilot[Instructor Pilot]. It’s simply mandatory that we spark interest and show ‘possible’. From there, they set their own paths and the sky is the limit[no pun intended] and dreams are made reality. When we introduce them to possible, impossible fades from view and appears only in the rear view of life pursuits.