Students Cracked the Code at Techsters 2018!
November 8, 2018
The first statewide Techsters event was a huge success! Techsters is a half-day coding camp for middle school girls with a mission to inspire a future generation to discover technology, get excited about STEM, and build code for real-world applications. Since the program’s first event with robotic balls called Spheros, TECHSTERS has served over 1,100 students in the greater Richmond region.
This year, the technology and innovation business councils of the Commonwealth worked together to host a statewide “Capture the Flag” event that exposed the girls to the cybersecurity industry in a fun and interactive game style.
With locations across the Commonwealth including RVA, Hampton Roads, and Harrisonburg, the event served over 300 middle school girls who formed teams and competed against each other by completing questions and riddles to capture virtual flags!
We kicked off the day with a personal welcome from Governor Northam, encouraging the girls to get involved with STEM and look forward toward their future as a part of Virginia’s growing technology workforce.
Throughout the day, the competition was tight between the different teams as they converted Hex to binary, inspected photos, revealed hidden files, and used dev tools to help capture flags. The girls even obtained a history lesson on amazing women in technology by answering questions regarding Grace Hopper and Ada Lovelace.
Huge thanks to our amazing volunteers who were available for help or even some hints when teams got stuck, but we had some real “smarty-pants’” students and even a team named “Smarty-pantz”. The teams seldom needed help and were quick to divide and conquer the challenges!
At the end of the competition, students were encouraged to write what they learned and how they felt about the competition on sticky notes. Feedback included everything from strengthening their analytical skills and making new friends, to learning vital skills about leadership and teamwork with students saying:
“I loved making new friends and learning that there are other nerd girls like me!”
“I learned to be a leader and work as a team”
“You really can solve anything, you just have to dig deeper!”
“I learned that to solve problems, sometimes you just have to look at it differently”
“Before giving up, I learned to read and understand the question multiple times!”
“I had so much fun! Thank you for making my weekend!!”
RVATECH, Richmond’s Technology Council, is grateful to the huge support of General Electric for hosting such a successful event and MAXX Potential for developing and creating this amazing competition!
We look forward to hosting Techsters 2019 and continuing to foster development for female students in STEM.
Click here to check out the photos from the event!<Back