Technolochicas Conference May 2021

Technolochicas Conference
Posted on 05/19/2021
Calabasas technolochicas studentsBy Sarah Wright

How do we prepare our students for a twenty first century career?

One answer is Technolochicas.

On Wednesday, May 12, 14 Calabasas students from fifth grade through eighth grade gathered in a classroom on campus to attend the Technolochicas conference virtually via zoom.

Technolochicas is a club geared toward young Latina students to help prepare them for careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Elisabeth Hughes, the advisor, said the students participated in a Q and A session with leading Latinas in many tech fields from NASA to Amazon.

In addition to the Q and A, students also participated in two workshops: online graphics and programming.

Eighth graders Anabelle Mendoza and Miranda Quintero Cardenas said that although they were disappointed that they did not get to travel on a field trip and although there were some internet issues, they were grateful for the opportunity to participate in this year’s conference even though it was different from previous years.

Mendoza said she appreciated hearing about how the leaders of the conference felt about Technolochicas and learning about how they got to where they are in their careers.

As part of the programming workshop, the students said they created a character that they named Winston, and Cardenas added that she also built a car out of legos that looked like a dragon.

Mendoza said she thinks the most important thing she gained from the conference was listening to other people’s opinions and participating in the coding workshop.

Another standout activity for the young women was playing with LED lights and learning how to sew them into clothing.

Hughes invited the fifth graders to participate in the conference to entice them to join the club next year as they enter their middle school years. Mendoza was excited about this, as her younger sibling was able to participate in the conference with her.

She said she thought the fifth graders seemed a bit confused in the beginning, adding, “I felt like I had to explain things to them and help them be involved. I felt like it helped me learn things, too.”

When asked about their future goals, the students were unsure about whether they would choose careers in STEM fields.

“I don’t have it all figured out right now, but I just want something that I’m passionate about and that I won’t give up halfway. This year and last year was about trying to figure out what I like and dislike. I guess trial and error,” Mendoza explained.

Cardenas said she will most likely participate in STEM activities throughout her high school years, but that she is unsure about what career path she will take. She said that at the moment “I really don’t have an idea. I really like seeing how people think.”

Hughes said that in hopes of enticing the students to continue participating in Technolochicas, at the end of the conference she introduced them to next year’s program on how to solder computer chips.

As the conference wound down, they enjoyed pizza, soda, and goodies from a swag bag.

Participating students included: Victoria Barajas, Yuki Carillo, Ashley Castelo, Kimberly Corral Toledo, Catlyn Cota, Annabel Mendoza, Camila Payan-Marquez, Miranda Quintero Cardenas, Melanie Ramos, Camila Valenzuela, Shela Valencia, Kayla Vega, Alexa Lopez, Ximena De La Rosa, Keyli Urguidez, Kamila Ledezma, and Annalia Mendoza.