JMU Women in Technology host DIGITAL

An annual event that inspires middle and high school girls to envision themselves in a computer science career.

Computer Science
DIGITAL Group 2019

By: Lianne Boxley, CISE student writer

On October 21, the JMU Women in Technology (WIT) club hosted DIGITAL - Dukes Inspiring Girls Into Technology Across Limits. The annual event inspires middle and high school girls in the Harrisonburg community to envision themselves in a computer science career. 

DIGITAL, led by computer science students, aims to challenge the gender gap in tech by providing young women with an inclusive, female-led environment where they can gain hands-on experience with computer technologies. “DIGITAL provides a place for young women to come and be able to imagine themselves in technology in a very friendly, non-threatening, non-judgmental environment,” says computer science professor Dee Weikle. “[Girls can] come into James Madison and be able to envision themselves being a computer science or an ISAT major.”

This year’s event featured hands-on activities and panels designed to teach young women about careers in STEM. Students had an opportunity to visit three of six different stations. Each station featured a different activity: building a game using Arduinos, learning how to hack computers, programming an Android app, designing a website, flying a drone, and using Python to make art. After visiting the stations, students chose a project based on their favorite station. 

DIGITAL also featured two panels. “The Future: What opportunities do I have in college?” allowed high school students to ask Women in Technology members about their experiences in computer science. The middle school panel, “Next Steps: What do I want to do in high school?” opened a dialogue about pursuing their interest in STEM.

“We want to get students excited and interested in STEM because there’s definitely a big gender gap in the STEM field right now. That’s one of the major factors that led us to create this outreach event,” says computer science major and JMU Women in Technology member Jenna Horrall. “Hopefully, DIGITAL inspired young women to want to get involved in a STEM major.” 

Read more about the event and watch the video.

Learn more about DIGITAL and JMU Women in Technology
Become a computer science major

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Published: Monday, November 4, 2019

Last Updated: Thursday, November 2, 2023

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