Try the most innovative STEM and tech camp in the Palo Alto and Silicon Valley area. The all-inclusive, full day camp includes snacks, lunch, and before/after care. Sparkiverse creates a healthy STEM environment where campers move between tech, science, art, and sports blocks throughout the day. Sessions include: Creativity & Circuits, Minecraft Imaginations: Design + Build Challenge, Minecraft Rally: Team Challenge, Retro Game Design Lab, Robot Coding Starter Lab, Internet of Things (IOT) Starter Lab, Internet of Things (IOT) Imagination Lab, Animal Adventures, and Bioforensics + DNA Explorations Lab.
We started Sparkiverse with the mission of introducing tech to ALL kids. But we have a special drive to get more GIRLS into tech.
Why? It's personal and it's from our hearts ...
I've been a female in tech for most of my professional career. And it’s been lonely. I expected things to have changed dramatically since I was in college in the 1980s, but surprisingly it hasn’t. There are still few females in technology-related fields. I know this because I have sought them out to hire. So the time came to decide whether to keep TALKING about my passions to get more females into tech - or to get busy DOING something about it.
What I saw from my experience as a mom and technologist was that somewhere in elementary school, girls start deciding that they “aren’t a math person” - or some sentiment to that effect. I felt that we were losing kids to tech - particularly girls - because it wasn’t creative and engaging. And as we talked to parents, we heard that girls in particular don't like to sit on a computer for hours. And that girls enjoy a more diverse approach to tech - a larger mix of creativity and problem solving.
We listened to the feedback. And wove in our own experience and intuition. Now we're proud to say that at Sparkiverse we have some classes where we have MORE girls than boys! Many of our new classes are designed to particularly interest girls - like our Creativity & Circuits and our Design + Innovate series.
Looking forward, we’re going to continue making sure that our company creates an environment where girls can feel comfortable letting their tech side shine through. And where boys thrive as well. I believe that if we expose girls in elementary school to coding … and circuits ... and robots … and all things cool tech, that we will see the numbers of girls sticking with these fields rise quite organically. That’s my goal and my hope for the next generation.
I grew up absolutely loving math and science. So much so that I spent my extra time taking so many courses in middle school that they ran out of math for me by 10th grade. And along the way, there were less and less girls in my math classes. By BC Calc, there were three of us out of 18 students. My AP Chem class was even worse. I wanted to find a way to change that. To get more girls into math and tech.
Now that I’m part of Sparkiverse, I can turn this experience into something fun and unique for our students. I’ve sourced amazing products to use in our classes that particularly appeal to girls.
I judge my success by what I hear students say in the classes. It really is one of the best days when a 2nd grade girl from my circuits class says to a classmate: “It doesn’t matter how that component goes in the circuit. It isn’t polarized.” She understood from play and experiment what polarized means. I don’t know if she’ll be an engineer. Or even in the sciences. But I know that she is learning the language and experience of technology - and that will open conversations and doors for her.
And, as important as it is for the girls to have other female classmates in their tech classes, it’s equally important for the boys to see female technology teachers. It impacts their perception of the abilities of females and their young classmates. I take pride in all students seeing that girls are just as good at tech as boys - including grown-up girls!