From Santa Cruz Country School Superintendent's Office

South 32, a global metals and mining company that spans the globe including the Hermosa Project in Patagonia, in collaboration with the Televisa Foundation is carrying out the She Will Connect: TECHNOLOchicas LiFT program in seven of our Santa Cruz County middle schools. In partnership with Alfredo I. Velásquez and the Santa Cruz County School Superintendent’s Office, South 32 with a sponsorship of $66,000, and guidance from the Televisa Foundation, will be implementing the program for the second year in a row.  The after school program for 7th grade girls is at Desert Shadows Middle School, Wade Carpenter Middle School, Calabasas School, Coatimundi Middle School, Lourdes Catholic School, Patagonia Elementary, and Santa Cruz Elementary.  It is being coordinated by Chris Young, the Chief Deputy at the Santa Cruz County School Superintendent’s Office.     

            TECHNOLOchicas LiFT was developed to increase the number of girls in Hispanic communities pursuing technology-related studies by the time they reach high school. A curriculum designed to empower, excite, encourage, and engage girls in computer programming, coding, and robotics is being implemented by site facilitators and assistants on each campus for 2-3 hours a week. Funds are being used for classroom supplies, robotic kits, the mega conference hosted in Nogales, parent engagement, and sustaining the program. Enrollment is set for a minimum of 20 girls per site, and an application process was followed for acceptance in to the program.

            Aside from weekly meetings, the club will participate in a mega conference with Technolochicas ambassadors from across the country.  At the conference, girls will be given the opportunity to network with other middle schools and the official Technolochicas panel of females in technology fields. This is a chance for Santa Cruz County students to ask questions and share ideas with role models who work for NASA, Microsoft, Qualcom, Pinterest, and many other corporations. This panel will share their stories of success about how being well-rounded students is so important. Being bilingual, self-confident, hard-working, and creative will also be discussed as positive attributes when it comes to pursuing a career in technology. The event will be highlighted by workshops dedicated to building teamwork, critical thinking skills, and communication all centered around topics related to engineering, coding, and other types of technology.