Archive for March, 2009

Three Cheers for the AMD Foundation: Supporting Educational Gaming Programs for Girls!

Camp1Girlstart would like to recognize the AMD Foundation’s outstanding support of our Project IT Girl program. With help from the AMD Foundation, Girlstart’s high school participants attended a week-long program where they examined gender equity in gaming and computer science, explored the power of video games and other media technology to effect social change, and developed a virtual awareness event about their findings in Teen Second Life.

Through this program, girls developed fundamental STEM workforce skills, including both vital technical skills like programming and game development and essential conceptual skills like program management, critical thinking, problem solving, and communication. This support was made possible through a new AMD Foundation initiative: AMD Changing the Game.

amd22In 2008, the AMD Foundation launched AMD Changing the Game to support programs that inspire youth to learn critical education and life skills by equipping them to create digital games with social content. AMD Changing the Game supports nonprofit organizations or schools that teach youth how to develop games, targeting kids aged 13 to 18. Particular emphasis is placed on programs that teach disadvantaged youth in the communities where AMD does business around the world.

Thank you, AMD!


March 30, 2009 at 7:57 pm 2 comments

SXSW Interactive-a peek inside

What a whirlwind! I can’t believe that SXSW Interactive is over! What a fantastic week it was.

Here’s a little sneak peek of my schedule during the week of SXSWi:

Friday March 13th

2:00 pm ·  Everything You Know About Web Design Is Wrong

3:30 pm ·  Oooh, That’s Clever! (Unnatural Experiments in Web Design)

5:00 pm ·  Plan B: Can an Ad Guy Bring Bike Sharing to America?

I spent the rest of the day at the Screen Burn Arcade and went to dinner with some fabulous folks from New York visiting SXSWi for the 1st time ever!

screenburnSaturday March 14th

10:30 am ·  Book Reading: Social Media Marketing with Alan Moore. No not this Alan Moore.

11:30 am ·  Core Conversation: Blog on Company Time and Get Promoted

2:00 pm ·  Opening Remarks: Tony Hsieh

3:30 pm ·  HOWTO: 149 Surprising Ways to Turbocharge Your Blog With Credibility!

3:30 pm ·  Core Conversation: Playing to Learn – Educating Kids Through Gaming

(yes I double booked myself on this one…saw half of both then caught up with each of the panelists after! Divinia Knowles from Mind Bites is super awesome. She’s doing some amazing things with Mind Bites and really has a great viewpoint on how games can be used to educate youth effectively and more successfully than traditional menthods. After talking with her I was inspired to build my very own Moshi Monster!) moshi

5:00 pm ·  Social Media Nonprofit ROI Poetry Slam

After that, I met up with the Fabulous Megan Gaiser from Her Interactive in New York-one of the panelists on our panel and we talked about girls, gaming, and the video game industry.

Then, I checked out the Lego corner which was jam packed with some amazing creations, including a tribute to the recent Austin Zombie road signs that have been popping up around Austin.


Sunday, March 15th

10:00 am ·  Screenburn: Playing On! Interface Lessons from Games

11:30 am ·  Making Whuffie: Raising Social Capital in Online Communities

3:30 pm ·  Core Conversation: Your Personal Blog is Dead

5:00 pm ·  Core Conversation: Twitter for Marketers: Is It Still Social Media?

This time, instead of continuing the learning process, I decided to go home and rest up for Girlstart’s panel and mentally prepare!


Monday, March 16th-Girlstart panel day!!

After our panel (more info in my next post), the panelists and I talked to a lot of our audience members-they were all so excited about our mission and wanted to know how they could help. It was great meeting folks in the Austin community who are passionate about contributing their time and talents to Girlstart-you are truly the folks that make all the difference! After meeting and chatting with these fab folks, I attended:

3:30 pm ·  No Web Professional Left Behind: Educating the Next Generation


5:00 pm ·  Screenburn: Girl Gaming Goes Mainstream: Cliches, Reality, and Community

Another fabulous, jam packed SXSW day!

Tuesday March 17th

Today was yet another great day at SXSWi-I met a lot of folks in the non-profit industry and we exchanged information to share resources. The Austin non-profit tech folks are wonderful about sharing what they know with each other-it’s such a caring community.

The highlight of my day was definitely getting an autographed copy of Chris Anderson’s book “The Long Tail”-thanks to my amazing and fabulous sister who managed to grab the last copy remaining-the display, and begging Chris Anderson to sign it for me. Yay!

I also attended:

2:00 pm ·  Tuesday Keynote: Chris Anderson / Guy Kawasaki Conversation

but spent most of the day checking out the Film festival portion of SXSWi…there was a documentary about the pets of Hurricane Katrina and the folks involved brought loads of dogs and set up an area outside the convention center promoting the documentary. Of course I had to spend a lot of time here.

cuteness overload

cuteness overload

The End

When the conference came to an end, I couldn’t beleive how quickly it had flown by. This is always the case with SXSW Interactive and while I felt sad (nerd alert!) I had so many new friends and so much new knowledge that I had to celebrate. I’ve got loads of scribbles I have yet to decipher and lots of things to look up on my To Learn list-I think by the time I get through that list, it’ll be time for SXSWi 2010.


March 30, 2009 at 4:37 pm

Computer Science Enrollment Rises; Girls Still Behind

science-class_1120311cEnrollment in computer science programs increased in the US for the first time in 6 years, however diversity in computer science programs continued to remain poor. The computer science bachelor’s degrees awarded to women remained steady at 11.8 percent in 2008. Read the full New York Times article here.


March 18, 2009 at 3:16 pm Leave a comment

Expand Your Horizons with Girlstart

Girlstart’s fabulous program director Katelyn Wamsted was on Fox morning news recently to demo some great science experiments and promote Girlstart’s upcoming program, Expanding Your Horizons. This once a year event brings 4th-8th grade girls from all over Austin to UT for a full day of interactive workshops hosted by women with cool STEM professions.  We are ALL super-excited to have local celeb and ice-cream entrepreneur Amy Simmons of Amy’s Ice Cream as the keynote speaker!


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March 17, 2009 at 8:52 pm Leave a comment

Tech Minute with TSTC

On a random gloomy and wintry Austin day, a reminder of a past summer is always appreciated! So this is exactly what I got when Texas State Technical College’s very own Lucy McGregor sent over their latest Tech Minute segment dedicated to Girlstart’s Project IT GIRL Summer Academy! (Which I have discussed at length, several times on this blog! ) Anyway, click on the video above and check it out-it truly was a super fun and fabulous summer.


March 11, 2009 at 8:52 pm Leave a comment

Family Science Fun!

sun-secrets1Girlstart hosted its 3rd science extravaganza at Casis Elementary School Saturday, February 28th.

Close to 300 participants explored the layers of the sun, designed a sundial, jumped in our bouncy house, heard the stories behind their favorite constellations, and had fun discovering science as a family.

Thank you to everyone who attended, Casis Elementary School, Silicon Laboratories, and Girlstart’s wonderful volunteers. Save the date for Girlstart’s next Extravaganza in October 2009! -Katelyn



March 5, 2009 at 6:14 pm Leave a comment

Girlstart goes “YAY!”


Congratulations to our very own Julie Shannan for her Austin Under 40 win last week! Congratulations to all the other finalists and winners! For a complete list of finalists in each category, click here.

March 4, 2009 at 10:44 pm Leave a comment

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