Wāhine Take Action Series: STEAMGirls with OMGTech! and Why you should Volunteer?

I volunteer with an awesome organisation called OMGTech! I have been with the organisation for almost a year. This is my experience and I hope by the end of the article, you will want to jump on board this waka and become an official OMGTech! volunteer.

I love being a volunteer, and I love mentoring and giving back. I mentor an awesome high school student while she takes this STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) journey. I also mentor an undergrad at the polytechnic I study at.

What is OMGTech! and What do they do?

OMGTech! offer many initiatives for children and teenagers as well as parents. It is always great when parents get involved, I get that. It can be really fun programming an Arduino. I love doing that especially with Raspberry Pi. OMGTech! open up the world of future tech to every Kiwi kid, including myself who isn’t quite a kid. Just in the inside………! But I am Kiwi….FYI

OMGTech! workshops include robots, nanobots, biotech, wearable tech, rockets, programming, science experiments, app prototyping and animation.

Wāhine Take Action Series: STEAMGirls Project

Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero (Central City Library) is celebrating 125 years since New Zealand women led the way to the polling booths. The Wāhine Take Action Series is a project with Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero (Central City Library). So from August to November, they are offering activities for all ages throughout the library. STEAMGirls is one of the activities for children to attend. If you would like to know more about what is happening with Central City Library, please click the link.

Therefore the awesome folks of OMGTech! and Central City Library are in partnership and created workshops specially designed to empower young women to become the innovators and inventors of their generation.

The goal of STEAMGirls was about encouraging young women or kids that identified as female to confidently explore technology. Our first STEAMGirls workshop that we did was on Saturday 25th August (0900–1200). We love our mornings! #ThanksCoffee

We had two workshops running (3D Printing and Robotics).

In the first STEAMGirls event, I helped out in 3D printing design which was pretty awesome and the kids liked designing their 3D designs. We used a programme called Tinkercad which allows kids to create 3D digital designs. If you want to know more about Tinkercad follow this link.

The second STEAMGirls event happened on Saturday 29th September from the lovely hours of 0900–1200. We surely love waking up early on a Saturday to empower young minds. #ThanksCoffee

This event we had a story and character theme. We focused on coding, character animation and gaming in Scratch. I looked after the character animation with OMGTech! founder Zoe Timbrell. That woman is like super woman who is just super chill and super positive. I wish I could absorb her powers like Rogue from Xmen did. Rogue absorbs Ms. Marvels psyche and kree powers. Yeah, I went there and I nerd that out loud. I reckon if I could give myself a grade, it would be *** out of **** stars. All I can say is that it was an “A for Effort!”

I took the character animation workshop and I felt proud after 1 training session that I could draw a character called Mrs Blob in front of a group of awesome kids. We used an application called Piskel but I kept calling it Pickle and got called out on the pronunciation a couple of times.

What is Piskel?

Piskel is a great free application for creating 2D pixel art and animations for game development. Please feel to click on this link to learn more about Piskel .

The other workshop we had in this event was the famous OMGTech! Maze game in Scratch. Kids really enjoy this workshop as they learn the fundamentals of block coding. The overall goal is that kids will create a Maze game in Scratch as well as design their character in Piskel which they will import into their Scratch maze game.

What is Scratch?

Scratch is a free programming language and platform. They offer an online community of support where you can create your own interactive stories, games, and animations. If you want to learn more about Scratch please click the link.

Reflection

Women are powerful and we can do anything if we put our hearts and minds to it. We have powerful minds filled with revolutionary ideas. Community initiatives like Wāhine Take Action: STEAMGirls with OMGTech! and Central City Library empower young women to become the innovators and inventors of their generation! They also set out to close the gender gap in STEAM by providing events like STEAMGirls to the community.

Therefore, being a volunteer and being apart of non-profit organisation like OMGTech! offer not only a supportive environment but a chance to give back to the community. There is a saying:

The more you give, the happier you feel.

I feel happier even if I am impacting one person and helping them through their journey. I feel that we are all on the same waka in life and if I can give back and pass that knowledge of what I have learnt to others. Hopefully, it helps or inspires that person through their journey. As I move forward, I hope that more people would like to volunteer. If you would like to volunteer with OMGTech! Please feel free to contact me or click this link.

Who am I?

Ko Natasha toku ingoa,
I hail from Te Whānau-ā-Apanui and from the beautiful hapu of Te Whānau-a-Pararaki. I am an InfoSec student who love dancing, playing retro games and listening to Guardians of the Galaxy movie soundtrack on repeat. I also like cats and chocolates.

Nga mihi,

Tash

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Tash

Tash

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CSAM | Te whanau-ā-apanui | Lover of wine, coffee & chocolate | NZNWS (WoSec NZ Founder)