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techARTS for Girls

Computers offer limitless possibilities. Perhaps most importantly,
computers allow the ability to communicate and create. The techARTS for Girls program offers Buffalo
and Erie County girls the chance to gain in-depth knowledge about technology
and computers while gaining confidence in themselves.  

This summer, Squeaky Wheel, located at 712 Main Street, will
host techARTS for Girls classes. Participants will be able to “develop computer and technical skills working with
printers, scanners, cameras, multimedia editing software and design software,” said
Program Director  and Squeaky Wheel
Assistant/Education Director Tammy McGovern.

Squeaky Wheel will offer three techArts classes: Beginners
(June 25th to August 27th), Advanced: Animation Camp
(June 28th to July 2nd) and Advanced: Web Design Camp
(August 2-August 6). The Beginners program is for ages 9-12, and the Advanced
classes are for ages 12-16.

Applications
must be submitted by mail by June 14th. The cost of each program is
$100, but scholarship
applications
are available. Girls also have the option to participate in
the after-school workshops held in the fall and winter. 

The techARTS for Girls program was founded in 1999 by
accomplished artist and author Mary
Flanagan
. Currently, Flanagan is a professor of Film & Media Studies at
Dartmouth. In 2008, Flanagan was presented with the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professorship in Digital
Humanities.

Flangan has years of experience in using technology for the
purpose of creativity, and created techARTS for Girls to impart her knowledge
to young girls, who she hopes will ultimately become more self-assured in their
skills through the completion of various projects. “Using the computer for
expression, communication, and experimentation is much more fun and kids can learn
a lot about technical fields and processes through a hands-on…program that is
targeted to their needs,” said Flanagan.

Each class accepts ten girls, in order to ensure individual
attention and to permit each participant the maximum amount of time on the
computer. One unique aspect of the program is that classes are taught by professionals
who regularly use computers. McGovern favors the Flash program, through which
the girls are taught how to draw and animate. Past instructors have introduced
video projects, Photoshop and other programs.

Therefore, the lessons taught in classes vary according to the
instructors, and girls work individually and in teams to complete several
projects in the course of the ten weeks that deal with a variety of technology
facets and computer programs.

Another aspect of the techARTS program is the exposure to the
uses of technology and computer work by females in the working world. During
each 10-week session, participants attend relevant field trips and watch
presentations by technology related professionals in class. Girls in the most
recent session took a trip to UB to learn the basics of keyframe animation in
Flash from graduate student Yvonne
Fulmore
. Another common field trip is to visit
Josephine
Anstey
, an Associate Professor
in UB’s Media Study Department, who familiarizes the girls with virtual reality
environments, according to McGovern.

All young women are encouraged to sign up. Any applications
received after a class has been filled or after the application due date will be
considered for the next session of classes.  

 

Squeaky Wheel 

712 Main Street

Buffalo, NY 14202

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