21956874443_e7f8ea81ac_zThirty Oak Park District 97 6th-8th grade girls participated in OPEF’s Website Design Workshop for Girls on October 23 at Julian Middle School. The workshop was made possible by presenting sponsor NowSecure, an Oak Park mobile security company, and led by Joni Trythall, a NowSecure product designer.

Joni used a website design curriculum she designed for middle school students to show the girls how to create their own website. A number of women tech professionals provided support and lots of one-on-one help during the 3-hour workshop. The girls were guided through the beginning steps of creating a personal website. They were then sent home with the files they created as well as the curriculum so they could review and complete any steps they didn’t complete in the workshop.

This workshop is just one of the strategies OPEF VEX Robotics has been using over the last few years to interest girls in STEM.  The effort has been paying off, with the percentage of girls participating in OPEF VEX Robotics competitive teams steadily climbing over the past few years. This year girls make up 35% of the program!

Thanks so much to Chee-Young Kim, Co-founder of NowSecure, for affording us this great opportunity. Thanks also to the following tech professionals for providing support during the workshop:

  • Blagica Bottigliero, Vice President of Digital Media, Metaverse Mod Squad
  • Rebecca Miller-Webster, Vice President of Engineering, Polymathic & Founder of <write/speak/code>
  • Arti Walker-Peddakotla, Product Manager, NowSecure
  • Jessica Davis, Support, NowSecure
  • Brooke Kravitz, Designer, NowSecure

Check out this slideshow of the girls in action at our workshop. Thanks to Kristi Braun for the great photos!

Girls Website Workshop