Week at Nokia caps Tech camp for Bay Area teens

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A partnership with Nokia led to a crash course in various software programs this month for 40 young women enrolled in iD Tech Camps this summer.

Campbell-based iD Tech designed its summer camps to teach STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering and math—to underrepresented female students ages 13-17 in the Bay Area. These students spent a week getting instruction at the iD Tech campus before heading to Nokia’s Sunnyvale headquarters for another week to learn everything from 3D printing to video production to virtual reality to coding in Python, Java or C++. Each student attended on a full scholarship, courtesy of Nokia and iD Tech.

“Nokia is committed to mentoring the next generation of engineers, coders and designers,” Nokia Software President Bhaskar Gorti said in a statement. “Supporting girls from underrepresented communities narrows the achievement gap, and most importantly, gives young people from all backgrounds a greater chance to succeed.”

That support didn’t end with the tech camps. For the next 12 months, the students who participated will be mentored by female Nokia Software employees working in STEM careers.

Mentoring activities, facilitated by global design firm Blank Page, will include social mixers, Q&A sessions, guest speakers presenting opportunities in tech, breakout sessions with mentors, and a panel discussion where professionals share their personal educational career pathways.

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Cyndee Lake, chief purpose officer of Blank Page, said the goal is to build trusting relationships between mentors and students, and to actively engage with the students in the pursuit of their academic and professional goals.

“Our entire team is fiercely committed to inspiring, engaging and empowering young women across the globe to explore and pursue their STEM aspirations,” Lake said in a statement.

The three partners agree that their program is designed to be sustainable and to break down barriers, socioeconomic and otherwise, to the future of women in technology. They cite studies showing that women earn only 18 percent of the bachelor’s degrees awarded in computer science, despite earning 57 percent of all bachelor’s degrees overall. Consequently, women make up just 28 percent of the science and engineering workforce.

The partners hope to increase that percentage by making STEM education more accessible to young women of all backgrounds.

“We are … excited to mentor them throughout their academic and professional careers,” Gorti said.” What we are doing here is special.”



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