Posts tagged ‘video games’

Summer Camp 2011- Registration Open

Register before February 7th and receive a $50 discount!

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Girlstart is hosting its thirteenth year of award-winning week-long summer day camps in science, technology, engineering and math for girls entering the 3rd through 10th grades! Girls entering the 6th-8th grades are eligible for regular camps. Junior camps are for girls entering the 4th-5th grades. Mini camps are for entering 3rd graders and the high school camp is for entering 9th-10th graders.

Regular and junior camps are one week-long, Monday through Friday, from 8:30am to 4:30pm. Parents may drop off campers at 8am and pickup is by 5pm. $350

Mini camps are half-day one week-long, Monday through Friday, from 9:00am-12:30pm. Parents may drop off at 8:30am and pick up by 1:00pm. $175

High school camp is one week-long, Monday through Friday, from 9:30am-4:45pm. Parents may drop off girls at 9:00am and pickup by 5:00pm. $350

Summer Camp 2011

Designer Girl
Regular Camp 6th-8th
(June 6-10, June 13-17)
Explore how engineering is all around us, from skyscrapers to runways. Uncover the world of high-tech fashion, solar energy, robotics and more. Campers will also construct a thrilling amusement park ride and draft a 3D design model.

Tropical Paradise
Junior Camp 4th-5th
(June 20-24, June 27-July 1)
Jaguars, manatees, gorillas, creepy crawlers and more! Over 15,000 animals and plants inhabit a bustling rainforest. Campers will journey through the colorful layers of this mystifying environment.

Water Works
High School 9th -10th
(July 11-15)
You’re the engineer as you program your robot to save the day. Discover how robotics are changing the world. Girls will work together to design the ultimate underwater vessel.

Camp Hermione
Regular Camp 6th-8th
(July 18-22, July 25-29)

Junior Camp 4th-5th
(Aug 1-5, Aug 8-12)
Calling all muggles! Channel your inner Hermione Granger as you unlock Hogwarts’ science secrets. Campers will create their own online TriWizard Tournament game and design a virtual Gryffindor dorm room.

Motion in the Ocean
Mini Camp 3rd
(July 25-29, Aug 1-5)
Dive in to uncover the wonders of the sea! Penguins, dolphins, starfish and more underwater secrets revealed. Explore the exciting world of a marine biologist and create an online game featuring your favorite sea animal.

January 3, 2011 at 8:11 pm Leave a comment

Thank You Girlstart

Dear Girlstart,

My daughter teaching my son what she learned at camp

I thought I’d let you know that my daughter attended the Jr. Medic Camp this summer and it was such a wonderful experience for her.  She came home loving the programming and before camp she showed almost no interest in computers (not even games).  She told me it was because programming is all about math and that is her favorite subject.

I just wanted to share that with you because as the mom of a 5th grade daughter, finding ways to encourage her interest in math is science is a top priority for me.  I am on faculty in the Communication Studies Department at UT and my undergraduate degree is in biochemistry.  I understand how important it is that girls get these reinforcing messages.  I hope she can attend future events as well.

Thank you so much for your wonderful program!

Keri Stephens

September 15, 2010 at 4:48 am Leave a comment

Missed Girlstart’s SXSWi panel? Catch up here.

Girlstart panel @ SXSWi 2009

Girlstart panel @ SXSWi 2009

Even though SXSWi reached a record number of attendees this year, many who have considered the conference to be the highlight of their professional year found themselves unable to attend the 2009 conference. Come to think of it, don’t all of us miss SXSWi in one way or another? I can think of atleast 25 panels off the top of my head that I wish I could have attended but the conference is so jam packed with goodies that you have to ultimately make difficult decisions and miss out on a few choice panels and core conversations. If you’re like me, you’re scouring the internet even weeks after SXSW Interactive trying to catch up with all the new things you learned and the stuff you missed. So, for those of you that missed the Girlstart panel or SXSWi alltogether, here are a few places you can go to catch up. 🙂 -Dee

Joystiq article

Kera Art & Seek blog

Austin Chic blog

April 1, 2009 at 10:52 pm 1 comment

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

Stepping Into Science

Last Friday I attended a “virtual science” event in Second Life called Stepping Into Science. From my own living room I went on several interactive field trips, exploring what other organizations are doing to bring science education to life in second life.

stepping-into-vw1_0022 Conference Keynote: Dr. Troy McLuhan- Troy McLuhan produces science exhibits and also sets up and promotes science-related events in Second Life.

Troy was very involved with the International Spaceflight Museum (ISM) from October, 2005 until September, 2007. He volunteers with the SL NASA CoLab project. He co-founded the SciLands, a continent of sims associated with science and technology organizations such as NASA, NOAA and The Tech Museum of Innovation. He maintains the Science Center Group wiki, which includes a calendar of all science-related events in SL, a database of all science-related places in SL, and more.

before-tsunami Simulated Tsunami

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has an interactive space in Second Life which includes a real time weather map, eye of a hurricane and a simulated tsunami. We were able to walk on the ocean bed and see the earthquake activity that causes a tsunami. (only in second life can you walk under water without proper gear!)

This is a picture after the tsunami earthquake under the ocean, and you can see the water line receding. 

tsunamiSimulated Tsunami Continued

After the water receded it created a huge wave that eventually covered us all (including the small town behind us). Very realistic and kind of scary!


weather_0013Real Time Weather Reporting Map

Here I am standing in Texas on a real time weather map that simulates what is currently going on in real life. You can see it was sunny in Texas, but snowing in New York and DC. This is a place I would love to take some Girlstart girls soon. It shows the whole country and is a huge walk through weather map. 

In addition to these field trips, I also had the opportunity to visit IYA2009 (International Year of Astronomy 2009), as well as participate as part of the live audience for Science Friday on NPR. Science Friday is a weekly radio show that is broadcast live from Second Life onto public radio stations across the U.S. Conference attendees will be able to participate in the show, including possibly asking questions of the show’s guests.

Special thanks to the conference staff at Stepping Into Science for giving me a scholarship to attend this virtual conference. 


February 19, 2009 at 6:16 pm Leave a comment

Girlstart panel @ SXSW Interactive Festival: March 13-17th, 2009

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Woo Hoo!! Girlstart has received word that a panel proposal I submitted to the South by South West Interactive Conference has been selected from amongst hundreds and hundreds of others!


The panel is titled: Gaming as a Gateway Drug: How to use video games to get girls into technology, and will explore how parents, educators and the communities can create and carry on the spark video games can create.


Please check back next week for panelist bios and updates on time slot information. Meanwhile, visit

For a complete list of panels and other exciting events!


January 22, 2009 at 10:00 pm Leave a comment

Video games, girls and education

This Summer, I attended Girlstart’s ITGirl Summer Academy-a week long camp where our IT Girls examined gender equity in gaming and computer science, explored the power of new media in effecting social change, and planned and produced a virtual global awareness event in Teen Second Life.

Day 1 of the camp consisted of console gaming-the girls played a variety of video games on the XBOX 360, Playstation, and Wii and discussed female portrayal in gaming, game design and blogged about some contemporary gender and technology issues. The girls’ exposure to video games varied-some had never touched a controller, some had played only one or two types of games regularly, and very few considered themselves “gamers”.

While many girls’ opinions about gaming revolved around negative connotations of the word “Gamer”, most girls seemed to be very receptive to gaming. After a quick tutorial in Mortal Kombat, 2 of the 18 girls in the camp’s first session became almost obsessed, researching and practicing new moves and asking me questions about my experience playing competitively. As someone who loves gaming and credits it for her interest in technology in general, this almost brought tears to my eyes. Girls from the camp towards the end were considering asking their parents for tech gifts for Xmas instead of some of the things they’d thought of before. We discussed some of the stereotypes that surround gamers, why women have had so many challenges entering the field, and how things are changing.

One of the hottest topics today is surrounding the use of the Nintendo DS in the classroom. A Tokyo school recently began using the Nintendo DS in language classes (, and researchers are increasingly finding that recent advances in gaming technology are highly relevant to science programs ( Girlstart’s collaboration with the Educator’s Coop has introduced us to the fantastic capabilities of Second Life and we are in awe of its massive potential as a tool for education in math, science, engineering, architecture, design and tech fields.

Austin’s very own South by Southwest interactive conference (SXSW) considers gaming and gender issues and gaming in education two of the hottest topics for 2008/2009.

What do we do with all this information? Well here at Girlstart we decided to continue this conversation and submitted a panel idea to the SXSW interactive conference for 2009. The working title for the panel is “Gaming as a gateway drug: using video games to get girls into technology.” The presentation will consist of educators, industry professionals and community members and will explore how gaming can be effectively used to lure girls into building and pursuing their technology interests.

The decision will be made sometime towards the end of October/beginning of November, so I’ll be sure to keep you posted with updates on the panel as well as any developing news pieces on the use of gaming in the classroom.


October 15, 2008 at 7:41 pm Leave a comment

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