Dublin Villager

CoolTechGirls program becoming hot commodity

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Purba Majumder is not representative of her field.

The Dublin resident and president of Cybervation doesn't find a lot of other women in the field of technology, but is working to change that with an organization for girls in grades 4-12.

CoolTechGirls started last year as a partnership between Dublin, the Dublin Entrepreneurial Center and Cybervation, offering girls training in the programming language Scratch, social networking and robotics.

"It depended on the type of program we were offering," Majumder said of participation that includes girls from Dublin, Olentangy, Westerville, Hilliard and New Albany schools.

"There was a lot of excitement," Majumder said.

"I feel encouraged to see that there are so many girls that wanted to come and enjoy the program."

About 50 girls joined CoolTechGirls and the Girl Scouts for STEM Fest in Dublin last month.

"We had Scratch programming at STEM Fest," Majumder said.

"That was hugely popular," she said.

"Fifty-percent of girls took the Scratch programming class ... . There were engineering concepts, how to design products.

"It was nice because it touched upon a lot of different things, not just one."

More programs for CoolTechGirls are planned for this year, including a session from networking professionals and another big event in May.

Majumder said she's also working to form partnerships with more educational organizations and a group that gives leadership training to girls.

Internships that will link high school girls with professionals in data management are also in the works, Majumder said.

"I think it's going in the right direction," she said.

"When I started the program I thought I'd have 20 or 25 students. I didn't think I'd have this many girls... .

"It looks like if we can offer them the right course and provide them with a comfortable environment where they can come and have friendships, they will try different things and not just think this is something the boys do.

"This, is my goal," Majumder said.

Any success CoolTechGirls has seen, Majumder credits to volunteers and board members.

"Everybody's been so supportive. This is run totally by volunteers," she said, adding her company has been the only one to sponsor any events so far.

"In spite of that we're able to have very successful events because of all the volunteers that have stepped up."

But Majumder isn't satisfied with the status quo.

She plans to work toward more partnerships, recruit more volunteers and find companies to sponsor STEM events for girls.

"We really are trying to make this attractive for girls," she said, adding that the help of the Girls Scouts has been valuable so far.

"We're trying to reach more girls in central Ohio."

For more information about CoolTechGirls and its activities, look online at cooltechgirls.org.

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