Seven District of Columbia Housing Authority youth from the dcConnectHome Technology Club celebrated the end to a successful spring sessio, which provided monthly club meetings and a spring break visit to the Northrup Grumman offices. 

The seven youth, along with their family guests, participated in an interactive closing ceremony on June 22. The first hour was a fun review of concepts and skills the youth had learned during the spring session. Divided into teams, the youth and their families played a Jeopardy game that featured questions about the major topics covered. For example, one question asked what button is used to start an animation in Scratch? The youth can now answer green flag. Next, the club participants hosted a game of Pictionary for their family members who had to guess what they had “drawn” on the screen. The catch was, they had to “draw” their image using code in the computer program MakeArt. They also watched a slide show of highlights and photos captured all the fun the Coding Club had in spring 2019.

After a light lunch, the group heard from a special guest speaker. Nicole Maaguo, a tech entrepreneur, is the Founder and CEO of Cultivate Ink, a boutique technology firm in the D.C. area. She told her story of becoming an entrepreneur in the technology services industry and gave the group a quick history lesson of pivotal moments in the evolution of technology. A passionate advocate for expanding the diversity of background and experience among people working in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers, Maaguo shared with the group some of the many groundbreaking technology discoveries that have been made by women and people of color. She gave the group an inspiring reminder of all the ways their knowledge of technology can be a benefit for not only their own future careers, but society at large.

Each dcConnectHome Technology Club participant received a certificate, a tablet computer, and a copy of the STEM Gems book. The book is a compilation of stories about 44 inspiring women in 44 diverse STEM careers and how they made it.

dcConnectHome youth technology programming started in 2016 with DCHA’s first AspireIT summer all-girls coding workshop. More than 25 girls participated in developing their own website during the inaugural dcConnectGirls summer workshop. The summer program was expanded to a technology club that met once a month during the school year. Following the success of dcConnectGirls coding workshops and technology club, in early 2018, the dcConnectBoys Technology Club was established with the support of a donation of 15 Kano computing devices and a donation of digital cameras. The members of the dcConnectBoys inaugural class learned coding and digital photography from male volunteers/mentors from various technology fields. dcConnectHome has hosted a variety of technology-focused programming for youth in the DCHA community led by local high-school students.

dcConnectHome is led by the Office of the Mayor and DCHA, representing one of the original 28 communities nationwide selected in 2015 by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to participate in ConnectHome, a national initiative. Partnerships are the key to dcConnectHome’s success—national partnerships established by HUD ConnectHome have been instrumental in providing technology based opportunities for DCHA residents. In addition, the dedicated collaboration between the local government and DCHA resulted in successfully connecting 1,785 households throughout DCHA’s portfolio to high speed internet. Nearly 760 school-age children live within those 1,785 households.

The dcConnectGirls Technology Club will reconvene for its fourth year of summer/fall workshops on September 7 and 14, 2019, made possible by an AspireIT grant and led by local high school students. The workshops are open to girls in grades 6 through 12. Email dcConnectHome@dchousing.org if you are interested in signing up.

Call 202-435-3382, email dcConnectHome@dchousing.org, or visit www.dchousing.org/connect for more information on dcConnectHome.

Links to past articles about the Spring 2019 dcConnectHome Technology Club.


Last modified: 7/30/2019 2:59:45 PM