What is ChickTech High School?

ChickTech High School revolves around creating events that will get high schoolers interested and excited about technology. These events pose some interesting challenges, as we expect that most of our participants have never had a chance to do anything like what we are offering. Our goal is to reach the girls and non-binary students who would make great engineers, but because of stereotypes and a lack of opportunity, may not realize it until they are already doing something else, if at all. We also strive to show the relevance of each workshop to their lives–and help them to understand that they have the ability use tech to transform their world!

Is this an alternative education setting or is this something students would do in addition to HS curriculum?

ChickTech is not an alternative education setting, it is meant to supplement a girl’s education by showing her what a career in tech would entail. Students will attend the kick off event over 1 weekend and then can attend any other workshops they’d like throughout the school year (also scheduled on weekends so as to not interfere with school or extracurricular activities).

How much does it cost?

ChickTech High School is 100% free for the attending students. We will cover the costs for the workshops, transportation, food and childcare.

Who can apply to join the program?

We are looking for students who might never think of a career in tech on their own. They can self-nominate, or are nominated by a supportive adult in their lives (teacher, community leader, parent, etc.). We place a high importance on nominations, as we believe they are key in showing these girls that someone believes in them and that they can follow any career path—even one they never considered before.

Students who qualify for our program are:

  • Girls and non-binary students (we accept all students who identify as a gender minority, including transgender girls and gender-fluid students) entering grades 9-12
  • Students who probably would not consider a tech education/career without extra encouragement
  • Students who have an above-average aptitude for math or science, along with a creativity and willingness to learn new things

We place an additional emphasis on students who are:

  • Eligible for free or reduced lunch
  • From underserved communities including minorities/students of color, refugees, immigrants, and/or students with disabilities
  • New to technology creation (ot already on a robotics team, coding, etc.)

Is this open to home school students?

Absolutely! We’d love if you could get one of your homeschool network parents to nominate your child if possible. The vote of confidence from someone other than a parent is very important to our process.

How long does the program last?

The kickoff program is a special event where we will provide food, child care and education for about 100 students. After the kickoff, we offer monthly workshops for the students to continue their education through the school year.

What is included?

For our kickoff event, the students will have access to education, child care stipends for teen parents, and accomodations as needed.

What does the kick off weekend look like?

Participants will participate in one workshop of their choice for the full two days. This allows for 10 hours of project time in one area so they can leave with a finished product they’re proud of by the end of the weekend. We have found this drastically increases their confidence in their abilities, their sense of community and belonging, and their interest in technology careers.

Who can participate in ChickTech High School?

Any high school student who identifies as a girl or non-binary is welcome to participate. The benefit of an experience shared by girls and other people of marginalized genders (including transgender and non-binary students) is supported by a significant body of research.

How does my child sign up?

Most students are nominated by an educator. We are looking for girls and non-binary youth who would not find tech on their own, girls who might never think of a career in tech on their own. We want educators to nominate these girls so that they see that someone believe in them and that they can follow any career path – even one they never considered before.

Why do you want educators’ recommendations?

A crucial aspect of our program is finding young women and non-binary youth who would not otherwise have thought of themselves as capable of succeeding in a high tech career. As educators (teachers, troop leaders, mentors, etc), many of you have seen young women not reach their potential in STEM because they thought it was too difficult—or it wasn’t what they’ve seen women do. By asking educators to hand-select our participants, we are giving our participants a vote of confidence: people who know them and their abilities have nominated them for this exclusive opportunity! All of our large events fill up and have waiting lists, so we encourage you to get your list in ASAP so your students’ spaces are reserved.

Do I have to be a teacher to nominate a student?

No you do not. We will accept nominations from parents/guardians, mentors, troop leaders, and tutors as well. We are looking for nominations from someone who knows the potential of the student they are nominating. Just tell us on the nomination form how you know the nominee.

What is the application process?

Please fill out our online form to nominate girls or non-binary students from your school/organization who:

  • Will be in 9th-12th grade as of November 2018
  • Have never participated in a computer science course, technology project, or camp before due to lack of interest and/or financial resources
  • Have never participated in any technology programs before, but would benefit from exposure to hands-on activities, mentoring opportunities and career exposure
  • Typically would not consider a tech career without extra encouragement
  • Have a willingness to learn new things
  • (30%+) are eligible for free or reduced lunch

These girls probably:

  • have been actively discouraged from a career in tech in the past
  • haven’t tried out tech projects because of obstacles in their life
  • aren’t confident in their skills

I love what ChickTech is doing, how can I get more involved?

We are always in need of volunteers to help organize and promote our events, lead workshops and raise money to support our programs.  As an educator, providing connections to other schools and encouraging them to participate is extremely helpful! Please feel free to reach out to us and check out our volunteer opportunities.

ChickTech is a registered 501(c)3. Copyright © 2017 ChickTech: Dallas