Girls Only!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Taking apart cell phones, computer hard drives and printers may not look like the usual summer camp activity for junior high school girls.

About 30 girls from around the Portland area tackled these projects with gusto, though, as part of the second Girls Gather for Computer Science (G2CS) camp this summer at Pacific University.

“Remember the safety procedures,” instructor Shelley Frey told the girls on their second day of camp. The girls, wearing brightly colored safety goggles, filled a lab at Pacific’s at the Strain Science Center, where they worked in teams to dismantle the tech gear. They looked at computer screen photos of the gadgets as they worked, while also taking their own photos and videos to create a presentation later.

Assisting the campers were Frey, a middle school technology teacher, as well as Ashleigh Pilkerton ’14, a Pacific bioinformatics and biology major, and Stevie Viaene, a retired high school technology teacher. Shereen Khoja, associate professor of mathematics and computer science, and Juliet Brosing, professor of physics, direct the camp.

"It's important for girls to learn about computer science, because they represent half of the population and need to be represented in the workforce that designs the technology that is consumed by both males and females," Khoja said.