Girl Geek X’s new partnership with Oakland Public Education Fund in adopting Coliseum College Prep Academy (CCPA) provides valuable experiences for Girl Geek X community volunteers to engage with the local school community. Join the Girl Geek X email list to be notified of future events.
By Angie Chang
When I was in high school, I didn’t have any industry role models. Most students didn’t go to a four-year college. School projects are valuable learning experiences and invaluable project-management and time-management exercises. Team work is a foundational building block for future success.
CCPA high school students experienced the journey of an entrepreneur building their minimum viable product (ideating, running surveys and customer interviews to validate assumptions, performing competitive analysis, building wireframes, managing features, and launching apps with native app builder Thunkable) as their Senior Capstone Projects.
As high school students, they likely do not know tech jargon. This is where industry mentors from companies across the San Francisco Bay Area come in to share their affirmative experiences and say hey, you’re not too far off from doing what the “professionals” and “techies” do at work.
Today’s presentations of students apps in Portable 2 focused on climate change (student education), shelter needs (items most in need at shelters), and healthcare (providing resources for free or low cost services when possible to low income and/or non-English speaking communities).
Volunteers attended student presentations and reinforced educator feedback by asking questions of the students presentations. Where did the data come from? Have you considered this additional use case? Why did this require building a native mobile app, versus just using Facebook to achieve your stated objectives?
After the presentations, Girl Geek X volunteers introduced themselves to the students. Marilyn works in user experience with a background in computer science, Katie is a Data Analyst at Playstation, James is a project manager, etc.
I talked about the thousands of early-stage startups that are great entry points (versus the big tech brands) for people new to tech. Together, we painted a picture of a diverse slate of roles in tech – filled by people of various education backgrounds.
We are excited to wrap up our first year with our “adopted” school CCPA in East Oakland with the Oakland Education Fund partnership, and excited for the next year!