Something pretty cool is happening in New Orleans at the end of August, something that will help mitigate the unrelenting sorrow and ennui precipitated by the dreaded march back to school — Girl Scouts Louisiana East will partner with the Geek Squad to organize a two-day technology "academy" just for girls.
According to the Times-Picayune, up to 200 girls ages 10-14 can take part in the late-summer academy, which aims to teach girls "the more serious side of computer usage" — safeguarding personal info, guarding against cyber bullies, and communicating with peers, all of which sounds really good-intentioned (if a little pedantic). Jill Pollard, vice president of programs and volunteerism for Girl Scouts Louisiana East, says that the Geek Squad program is integral to the technology arm of the Scouts' STEM initiative, which encourages girls to develop interests in science, technology, engineering, and math. Pollard thinks that pre-adolescent girls who display a marked interested in science or math often don't get encouragement from parents, teachers or peers.
This is the age that girls sometimes lose the drive to succeed in science, technology, engineering and math, because of peer pressure from boys and sometimes even teachers. We are reinforcing that this is a cool topic.
This technology academy comes as part of culture shift within the Girl Scouts, as the organization (on the whole) is trying to become more inclusive as well as encourage girls to strive for leadership positions. Though the two-day camp seems well-meaning enough, it sounds a little...boring. Teaching kids how to protect their credit card information isn't going to create a whole lot of future Silicon Valley start-up pioneers — it'll just create a new generation of people who fucked around on the internet when they should have been paying attention to a boring computer class. Scouts who attend the technology camp should instead be given cool and dangerous tasks, like breaking into the NSA's database or creating their very own identity theft schemes. First prize goes to the first person to secure a money transfer.
Geek squad invites girls into the world of technology [Times-Pic, R.I.P.]