TechGYRLS® is a highly successful nation-wide YWCA after-school empowerment program that provides girls ages 8-18 with opportunities to increase their skills and confidence in the use of technology and engineering. TechGYRLS® was developed by the YWCA USA in 1997 after seeing the need to strengthen girls’ interest and competency in computer literacy — a key job skill in nearly every profession today. The goal of TechGYRLS® is to provide hands-on STEM education in an all-girl environment where girls feel comfortable taking risks and opening up to new learning opportunities.
Elementary through high school girls engage in activities to stimulate a deeper interest in STEM using critical thinking, time management, teamwork, problem solving, and presentation skills. Career development is another component as the program tries to reach girls at a young age. Part of this is achieved through presentations given by professional women volunteers. These guest speakers provide an important link between the topics covered in TechGYRLS and the potential job opportunities waiting for them once they finish school.
TechGYRLS currently operates in 6 San Jose schools:
- Herbert Hoover Middle School
- John Muir Middle School
- Leyva Middle School
- YWCA West Valley Childcare Site
- Canoas Elementary School
- Mt. Pleasant High School
Specific projects that the girls may do include activity modules on building bridges to withstand earthquakes, housing structures focused on measurements, bracing, and stabilizing under movement, creating simple roller coasters to understand velocity and momentum , creating speakers using wires, magnets, and plastic cups, and so much more! All activities incorporate the Engineering Design Process and Development/Increase in Communication, Collaboration, Creativity and Innovation, and Critical Thinking (the 4 Cs) within our curriculum.